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NCP Wants Sena Govt Minus BJP; Sena Insists on ‘Coalition Dharma’

Speculations are rife that Shiv Sena may join hands with the NCP,but the party insists on coalition dharma with BJP.

Updated
India
4 min read
The Shiv Sena has insisted on a ‘50:50’ power-sharing formula for the coalition partners.
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The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said on Saturday that it will take a ‘positive view’ if the Shiv Sena is ready to form a government without the BJP.

"The NCP will definitely take a positive view if the Shiv Sena is ready to form the people's government as envisaged by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, minus the BJP. The alternative will be available if any decision is taken in the interest of the people to form a government," Nawab Malik tweeted.

However, NCP president Sharad Pawar said on Friday that his party will sit in the Opposition.

The BJP won 105 seats in the assembly polls followed by ally Sena (56), NCP (54) and Congress (44) in the 288-member assembly.

BJP and Shiv Sena contested in alliance but there has been a tussle over the chief minister's post. Speculations are rife that Shiv Sena may join hands with the NCP and form the government.

‘Is President in Your Pocket?’: Shiv Sena to BJP

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut lashed out on Saturday saying the statement made by a BJP leader that Maharashtra may head for President's rule, was an insult to the people who have given a mandate, and asked whether the President was in BJP’s pocket.

NCP’s Nawab Malik too said imposing President's rule was out of question and that his his party will provide an alternate arrangement for a government, provided Sena elaborates their stand.

BJP leader and Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said on Friday that the President’s Rule will have to be brought in if the new government in is not in place by 7 November.

Raut warned that the party will soon drop its “wait and watch mode”. “In India, the President protects the Constitution,” he said. “Has this threat been given after the party exhausted all its means to claim power?,” he told PTI.

The tenure of the existing Legislative Assembly ends on 8 November.

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‘Stuck in the Mud of Arrogance’

The political situation in Maharashtra is still in a flux as the tussle for power sharing has been going on for more than a week since the state's election results were announced.

Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut wrote in his weekly column in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’:

“Despite (BJP, Sena) contesting the elections in alliance and getting mandate for government formation, the wheel of the chariot is stuck in the mud of arrogance.”

He dared BJP to impose the President’s Rule and added that such a step would be the party's “biggest defeat of the century.”

Had Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray “with a large heart”, and begun talks soon after the poll results, the situation wouldn't have worsened, he wrote, reported PTI.

“Fadnavis is not ready to give the chief minister's post to Shiv Sena for two-and-a-half years. He, on record, agreed to equal sharing of posts and responsibilities and now denies this and attempts to form government with the help of police, CBI, ED and Income Tax,” the Sena leader alleged.

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Raut discussed five scenarios amidst the ongoing power battle:

  • Scenario 1: BJP can form government without the Shiv Sena, but it will lose the trust vote as it needs 40 more MLAs (to prove majority in the 288-member house).
  • Scenario 2: In 2014, the NCP could support the BJP in return for posts for Supriya Sule at the centre and Ajit Pawar in the state. However, it is unlikely that Sharad Pawar will make the “mistake” that he committed in 2014.
  • Scenario 3: Sena with 56 MLAs and the Opposition NCP 54 MLAs and Congress with 44 legislators, come together to form government.
  • Scenario 4: BJP and Shiv Sena could come together and the chief minister's post will have to be shared.
  • Scenario 5: BJP will have to break other parties using threat of investigative agencies. But this could impact the image of Prime Minister Modi.

He added that scenario number 4 was the best option but “not possible due to arrogance.”

‘Coalition Dharma till the End’

Raut reiterated that the two alliance partners should finalise the new government by sharing power equally.

Meanwhile, though Congress is downplaying the meet with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, analysts believe this could be a hint that the Sena was joining hands with other political parties if the BJP did not give in to their demands.

However, Raut had stressed on the fact that the Sena contested the assembly elections in an alliance and his party will stick to “coalition dharma till the end.”

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Not the First Time a Delay in Govt Formation

Raut said that this was not the first time that there has been a delay in formation of the state government, and pointed out that this includes those ruled by BJP.

Shiv Sena’s party mouthpiece Saamana also attacked Mungantiwar in an article - ‘Maharashtra’s insult, is President in your pocket?’ and likened it to the Mughal diktat.

“Does it mean that President is in your control or a stamp with his signature is lying in the BJP office and can be used to impose President’s Rule if BJP is not able to form the government? The threat of President’s Rule given by Mungantiwar is undemocratic and unconstitutional,” reported The Indian Express.

Mungantiwar retaliated by saying he was merely talking about constitutional provisions in case the government is not formed within the stipulated period.

“I am forest minister. If the tiger (Sena’s mascot) is growling unnecessarily, we know how to preserve and conserve them well. We will take the tiger along,” he told in Chandrapur, quoted the media report.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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