New Delhi: The standoff between Shiv Sena and BJP in Maharashtra escalated Saturday with Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana slamming the party over its ‘threat’ of President’s rule in Maharashtra.
The Sena editorial launched a scathing attack on the BJP for behaving as if the President was “in their pocket”.
“Threats of investigating agencies launching probes got them no results, so former BJP minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has now come up with a new threat, President’s rule,” reads the editorial.
“This is an affront to the people of Maharashtra.”
Mungantiwar Friday said that “President’s rule will be imposed if the government formation doesn’t happen” by 7 November in Maharashtra.
On Saturday, the former minister reportedly said, “We were asked what would happen if the government is not formed in time. We simply answered that according to provisions of constitution, President’s rule will be imposed.” He also likened his earlier comment to a teacher’s response to students’ queries.
The Saamana editorial says, “It is like Mughal’s diktat. The law and Constitution are not anyone’s slaves. We are not responsible for the current condition of Maharashtra politics and the people of Maharashtra know it. We know what is law and constitution,”
In its lead report, Saamana said Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has called off discussions with the BJP after the latter refused to concede to the party’s demand of sharing the CM’s post for the present term.
“The key to forming the government lies in Shiv Sena’s hand… Aware of that, Sena is in no tension mode,” said the report.
Also read: Shiv Sena could ‘split and 24 MLAs join BJP’ if Uddhav Thackeray decides not to join govt
Why the allies are fighting
The two allies have been in a bitter tussle over sharing of power in the state ever since the Maharashtra assembly results were announced on 24 October. With 105 seats, the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the 288-member assembly, while Shiv Sena secured 56.
The two parties have failed to arrive at a consensus to form the government.
Shiv Sena has claimed that ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, when the alliance was finalised, the BJP had promised to share the CM’s post for half the term. The Sena wants Aaditya Thackeray, Uddhav’s son, who won the assembly election from Worli, to be chief minister for two-and-a half years.
“It was chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who turned tables at the last moment to deny the party the CM’s chair,” read Saamana’s report.
On 29 October, Fadnavis denied that any such consensus had been reached between the two parties. BJP president Amit Shah, who was slated to meet Shiv Sena chief Thackeray, also cancelled his Maharashtra visit for the same day.
Shiv Sena MP and Saamana editor Sanjay Raut taunted the BJP for not holding up its end of the bargain.
“There’s no Dushyant Chautala here whose father is in jail…. We practice the politics of truth in Maharashtra. We are seeing what’s happening and how low people can stoop,” Raut said.
The Sena leader was referring to the Jananayak Janata Party chief who has allied with the BJP in Haryana and is set to be the deputy chief minister.
Also read: CM from BJP with a Shiv Sena deputy — the 1995 formula that can solve Maharashtra standoff