Maharashtra polls: Shiv Sena cancels BJP meet as Devendra Fadnavis denies sharing of chief minister's post as part of pre-poll agreement

Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday cancelled his party's meeting with the BJP on the formation of the next government in Maharashtra after incumbent chief minister Devendra Fadnavis denied the Shiv Sena was assured post of the chief minister for 2.5 years as part of a power-sharing 'formula'

Press Trust of India October 29, 2019 17:47:21 IST
Maharashtra polls: Shiv Sena cancels BJP meet as Devendra Fadnavis denies sharing of chief minister's post as part of pre-poll agreement
  • A senior Sena leader told PTI that a meet, scheduled to be held here at 4 pm between BJP and Shiv Sena, was cancelled by Uddhav Thackeray

  • The development came within hours of Devendra Fadnavis' presser in which he denied that the Shiv Sena was ever promised the chief minister's post for two-and-a-half years when the alliance was formalised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls

  • The Sena had demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing 'equal formula for sharing of power' before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state

  • Ever since the BJP's tally fell in the recently-held Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Shiv Sena raised its pitch for a rotational chief ministership between the two parties for a period of 2.5 years

  • Shiv Sena MLAs last week demanded that Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya, a first-time legislator, be made the chief minister

Mumbai: Hours after incumbent Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis denied the Shiv Sena was assured post of the chief minister for 2.5 years as part of a power-sharing "formula", Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday cancelled his party's meeting with the BJP on the formation of the next government.

The development might potentially worsen the already strained relationship between the two parties.

Maharashtra polls Shiv Sena cancels BJP meet as Devendra Fadnavis denies sharing of chief ministers post as part of prepoll agreement

File photo of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

A senior Sena leader told PTI the meet, scheduled to be held here at 4 pm, was cancelled by Thackeray after Fadnavis' statement on sharing of power.

The meeting was to be attended by Union minister Prakash Javadekar and senior Shiv Sena leaders.

"Union minister Prakash Javdekar and party leader Bhupendra Yadav were supposed to attend the meeting to start discussions on the formation of the next government from the BJP side, while the Shiv Sena would have been represented by Subhash Desai and Sanjay Raut," the Shiv Sena leader said.

The development came within hours of Fadnavis' presser in which he denied that the Shiv Sena was ever promised the chief minister's post for two-and-a-half years when the alliance was formalised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Thackeray has been insisting that the 50:50 formula on sharing of power was "agreed upon" between himself, BJP chief Amit Shah and Fadnavis ahead of the Lok Sabha polls this year.

The Sena had demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing "equal formula for sharing of power" before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state.

On Tuesday, the Shiv Sena also released an old video clip to "rebut" Fadnavis' claims on sharing of power in which the latter purportedly talked about equal sharing of posts and responsibilities in the BJP-led state government.

"Uddhavji has cancelled the meeting scheduled at 4 pm on Tuesday. We have sent out the clip of the chief minister speaking about sharing posts and responsibilities equally. Fadnavis should mind his words while making such statements," the senior leader added.

Maharashtra polls Shiv Sena cancels BJP meet as Devendra Fadnavis denies sharing of chief ministers post as part of prepoll agreement

In a related development earlier in the day, Fadnavis announced that Shah will not be attending the BJP legislature party meeting on Wednesday.

A BJP leader had last week said that Shah might visit Thackeray.

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Ever since the BJP's tally fell in the recently-held Maharashtra Assembly polls, results for which were announced on 24 October, the Shiv Sena raised its pitch for a rotational chief ministership between the two parties for 2.5 years.

Shiv Sena MLAs last week demanded that Thackeray's son Aaditya, a first-time legislator, be made the chief minister.

In the elections held for the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, a loss of 17 seats compared to its 2014 tally.

The Sena's tally also came down to 56 seats from 63 in 2014. A resurgent NCP won 54 and the Congress bagged 44 seats.

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