Efforts On To Break Logjam : Sena Sources
MUMBAI: A day after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray attended Devendra Fadnavis’s mega swearing-in as BJP’s first Maharashtra Chief Minister, there are signs of a thaw. Sena sources have told that efforts are on to break the logjam over renewing a 25-year alliance with the BJP which the latter had snapped in September.
Sources also say that the Sena will reach out to senior BJP leaders like Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh to work out an agreement over participating in the government.
The conciliatory stance follows Sena bemoaning the serial “humiliation” by the BJP which had rejected the demand that its leaders be included in the small cabinet that took oath on Friday. The Sena announced it would boycott the swearing-in but an alleged last minute call from BJP President Amit Shah led him to the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
“Uddhav Thackeray’s attendance today was a big gesture. Talks are moving in the right direction,” new Chief Minister Fadnavis had said after yesterday’s ceremony. His cabinet has been modestly-sized to accommodate add-ons from potential partners. A decision on that issue has to be taken before the vote of confidence, the Sena has reportedly made clear to the BJP.
The Maharashtra governor had given the BJP 15 days to hold a trust vote; the deadline expires on November 15. The Sena says it will not support the government if an agreement is not arrived at before that date. It has also reportedly indicated to the BJP that it is looking at three names for a potential Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, should the two parties fail to seal a deal.
The Sena has reportedly agreed to a 2:1 formula for portfolios, meaning for every two berths the BJP keeps, the Sena is willing to settle for one.The BJP has 123 seats; it needs 22 more to win the vote. The Sena has 63. But the BJP has been in a sweet spot courtesy Sharad Pawar’s party, which says it will abstain during the vote in a show of support for the minority government.