BJP will not accept new demands put forth by Shiv Sena: Amit Shah
NEW DELHI : BJP President Amit Shah today said his party will not accept the new demands put forth by Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. The Sena’s insistence on a rotational chief minister strained the alliance and delaying government formation in the state, which is now under President’s Rule.
“Before elections, both Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and I said many times in public that if our alliance wins, then Devendra Fadnavis will be the chief minister, no one objected back then. Now they have come up with new demands, which are not acceptable to us,” said Shah.
BJP chief Amit Shah today rejected the Shiv Sena’s claim that it was promised rotational chief ministership in a new Maharashtra government, and instead accused its estranged ally of coming up with post-electoral conditions that could not be accepted.
“Before the elections, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I had said many times in public that Devendra Fadnavis will be the Chief Minister if the alliance wins. Nobody objected back then. Now they have come up with new demands that are not acceptable to us,” Amit Shah told news agency ANI in his first remarks ever since the BJP fell out with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.
The Shiv Sena, on the other hand, claims that the BJP had agreed to share the chief minister’s position with it during seat-sharing talks between Amit Shah and Uddhav Thackeray before the elections. The BJP denies making any such promise.
Amit Shah, who also serves as the Home Minister, condemned the manner in which his party’s spat with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena had gone public. “It’s not in our party’s tradition to disclose what transpires behind closed doors,” he said. “If the Sena thinks that it can revolt and get the people’s sympathy, they really don’t know the public.”
Although the BJP and the Shiv Sena had achieved a comfortable majority in the October 21 assembly elections, the state was plunged into political uncertainty after the two allies entered into a tussle for power. President’s Rule was declared in the state on Tuesday, even as the Shiv Sena desperately tried to cobble up a working alliance with the Congress-NCP combine.
In his interview with ANI, Amit Shah said that his party does not favour mid-term elections either. “Maharashtra was given 18 days to form the government, which is unprecedented for any state. The governor invited parties only after the tenure of the state assembly ended. President’s Rule was declared when no party came forward to stake claim,” he said, adding that any party can approach the governor even today if it has the numbers.
Then followed a scathing jibe at the Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP, which are now trying to keep the BJP at bay in one of the country’s most politically significant states. “To those who criticise the Governor for imposing President’s Rule by saying that establishing the next government is their right, this is what I want to say: You have the right but you don’t have the numbers,” he said.
Uddhav Thackeray had met Maharashtra Congress leaders earlier today to hold talks that he claimed were headed in the “right direction”. “Everything is going fine. Talks are going in the right direction and a decision will be announced at an appropriate time,” he told mediapersons.
Talks of government formation between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena will start only after top leaders of the three parties approve a Common Minimum Program which is in the works, senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said earlier on Wednesday.
“We will meet the Shiv Sena leadership in one or two days. The draft (CMP) will have to be approved by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP president Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray,” he said, adding only after that there will be talks on government formation.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who underwent angioplasty, earlier on Wednesday reiterated that the chief minister of the state would be from his party. Raut, who was discharged today, has been commenting on the political situation in the state by tweeting couplets from his hospital bed even as the deadlock in the state persists over government formation.
Hours after the President’s Rule was imposed in the state, which has been facing political uncertainty for nearly three weeks now, Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday evening said the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and his party will work out a formula for the formation of government in Maharashtra.
Attacking the BJP over its claim that the Sena had been in touch with the Congress-NCP since the October 24 poll results were announced, Thackeray said he had allied with the chief NDA constituent in its “dark times”. “I officially spoke to the Congress-NCP only yesterday (November 11), seeking support for government formation. We will work out a formula for the same,” he said after meeting the Sena’s MLA-elects at a suburban resort.
Thackeray, flanked by his son Aaditya, said the Sena needs clarity on the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), just like the Congress and the NCP if a government is to be formed with their support.
Thackeray took a dig at Governor BS Koshyari over the denial of more time to drum up support for government formation in the state — the party had failed to produce the required letters of support from the NCP and the Congress when it met Koshyari on Monday night to stake a claim to form the government.
“The Maharashtra Governor had given us a letter (asking the Sena to show willingness to form government) even before the deadline allotted to the BJP got over. We then asked the Governor for additional time, which he denied.
Now it seems the Governor has given us ample time of six months to decide on government formation,” said a sarcastic Thackeray. “We had asked for 48 hours, but the Governor gave us six months.”
(Bureau Report with agency Inputs ).