As the ongoing tussle for power continues in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena sharpened attack on its ally BJP on Saturday, saying that the “President’s rule threat” is an “insult” to the state and people’s mandate, while warning that it will soon drop its “wait and watch mode”.
On Friday, Finance Minister and BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the state may head for President’s rule if the new government is not in place by November 7 as the tenure of the existing Legislative Assembly ends on November 8.
Mungantiwar’s comments came even as there appeared no headway in government formation eight days after results of the October 21 Assembly elections.
Mungantiwar told a TV channel that “A new government will have to be in place within the stipulated time, or else the President will have to intervene.
President’s rule will be imposed if the government formation doesn’t happen in the given time,” he added.
“People of Maharashtra have given mandate not to any party but to the Mahayuti (alliance comprising BJP, Shiv Sena and other parties),” the BJP leader said adding that the main hurdle in government formation was Sena’s demand for Chief Minister’s post for 2.5 years.
Reacting on the remarks, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut questioned if the President’s rule remark was a threat to the elected MLAs.
“If there is a delay in the formation of government in a state, and a minister from the ruling party says President’s rule will be implemented in Maharashtra if government isn’t formed, is this a threat to the MLAs who have been elected?” he asked.
The Sena leader further warned its ally that the party will soon drop its “wait and watch mode”.
“In India, the President protects the Constitution. Has this threat been given after the party exhausted all its means to claim power? Sena will soon drop its wait and watch mode in Maharashtra.”
Amid standoff with ally BJP over sharing the top post, Shiv Sena has stood firm on its demand for 50-50 formula for government formation, saying that the people of Maharashtra want Chief Minister from Sena.
In an apparent warning to “Big Brother” BJP, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that if the party decides, it will get the required numbers to form a stable government in the state.
“People have given the mandate to form a government on the basis of 50-50 formula that was reached in front of people of Maharashtra. They want Chief Minister from Shiv Sena,” the Rajya Sabha MP asserted.
In the recent state polls, the BJP won 105 seats, while the Sena got 56 in the 288-member assembly.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party is demanding the post of Chief Minister for 2.5 years and 50:50 division of portfolios.
Both these demands have been rejected by the BJP which has insisted that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will continue to hold the post for the next five years.