In a yet another U-turn by the Uddhav Thackeray led Shiv Sena amidst the CM post conundrum, Shiv Sena MP and party spokesperson, Sanjay Raut stated that the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance has fought the elections together as a coalition and will abide by the alliance till their last breath. The turbulent Shiv Sena and BJP are embroiled in a tussle over the power-sharing formula for the new Maharashtra government. The hard-liner Shiv Sena wants rotational chief ministership and half of the portfolios, a proposal that has been fairly rejected by the senior partner BJP. As a part of its attempt to somehow get the BJP into agreeing with the 50:50 formula, Sanjay Raut who took a U-turn today had gone on to draw a comparison between the political situation in Haryana with that in Maharashtra. Raut said that government formation got delayed in Maharashtra because “There is no Dushyant [Chautala] here whose father is in jail.” With this, he tried to suggest that there is a difference in the political situation of Haryana and Maharashtra where elections took place at the same time. He had further asserted, “Here [Maharashtra] it’s us [Shiv Sena] who do politics of dharma and satya, Sharad [Pawar] Ji who created an environment against the BJP and Congress who will never go with BJP.”
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The U-turn comes a day after reports were doing the rounds that Shiv Sena was looking for a possible alliance with Congress and NCP. According to an IANS report yesterday, Congress wanted Shiv Sena to openly walk out of the alliance with BJP and then seek open support from the opposition. Hussain Dalwai, Congress Rajya Sabha member had told IANS, “Any decision of supporting the Sena will depend when the Uddhav Thackrey-led party walks out of the alliance.” The duo of BJP and Shiv Sena which contested the Maharashtra assembly poll as allies won 105 and 56 seats respectively. Whereas NCP and Congress clinched 54 and 44 seats respectively.
While Congress seemed to flirt with the idea of forming an alliance with Sena, the NCP supremo Sharad Pawar whose party surprisingly performed above-par than what political pundits had predicted, refuted all the claims of NCP forming an alliance. “We do not have a clear majority. People have asked us to sit in the opposition. We accept that mandate and will take care that we play that role effectively,” the NCP chief said on Friday. Pawar’s comments might come as a roadblock to the possibility of an unlikely NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena alliance. Taking a dig at BJP and Sena, Pawar said, “The people have given them the opportunity (to form government). They must use it. But what is going on now (between them) is childish in my opinion.”
With Pawar folding his cards, it is almost but certain that the political power turmoil in the state has come to a cease-fire. Congress party which was being cautious and hoping that Pawar would be the one taking the lead to stitch an alliance in the state might be feeling a bit undone. Any party or alliance seeking to form government requires the support of at least 145 MLAs on the floor of the 288-member Maharashtra assembly.