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BJP expects Sena’s efforts to strike a deal to fail

In last month’s elections, the Sena was in direct competition with the Congress and NCP in almost 100 seats, which could prove to be a significant roadblock in their efforts to negotiate a deal with both parties.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 12, 2019, 07.15 AM IST
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Sena leaders with the Maharashtra governor
MUMBAI: BJP in Maharashtra cancelled a press conference scheduled for late evening on Monday, a possible indication that the party expects Shiv Sena’s efforts to strike a deal with Congress and NCP to fail and it to eventually return to the pre-poll ally.

BJP announced the plan to hold the press conference after the Sena said it would form the government, and it was expected to go all out against a party that was its partner for over a quarter century.

But Sena didn’t get any letter of support from Congress and NCP before the 7.30 pm deadline given by the governor to stake claim.

“Our core team has just completed our meeting; we have resolved to take an appropriate decision at the right time,” state BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said after a meeting of the party’s core committee.

“They would not have suffered this embarrassment if they had been with us. They believed in Congress and NCP and even had their minister resign (from the central government).”

BJP leaders were optimistic since morning because, according to several of them, they didn’t expect Congress to support the Sena.

If the Sena cannot form a government of its own, one option would be to support a Congress-NCP government. But after the embarrassment, Sena would find it difficult to join or support a Congress-NCP government, though it could still be interested if the two parties agree to give the CM’s post to it. However, in such a case, the CM’s post would be the only plus as it would come with curtailed powers with most of the portfolios going to Congress and NCP.

Another option is swallowing their ego and returning to the BJP, especially as Sena’s MLAs would be more comfortable supporting the BJP than the Congress or the NCP as both parties have been partners for long and also share similar ideologies. In last month’s elections, the Sena was in direct competition with the Congress and NCP in almost 100 seats.

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