Maharashtra stalemate on as BJP and Shiv Sena stick to their guns
- Devendra Fadnavis told TOI on Tuesday evening, "Our doors are always open for negotiations, we never said no for discussions"
- Sena MP Sanjay Raut, on the other hand, said there would be no discussion on government formation with the BJP unless it agreed to give the CM's post to the Sena
After a BJP core committee meeting held at the CM's official residence Varsha, state party chief Chandrakant Patil said the BJP-Sena alliance would soon form the government as the people's mandate was for the 'Mahayuti'. "So far we have received no proposal from the Sena on government formation. They will soon give us a proposal. To discuss that, our doors are open 24 hours. The BJP will take everyone along and form the government," he said.
CM Devendra Fadnavis told TOI on Tuesday evening, "Our doors are always open for negotiations, we never said no for discussions. It was the Sena which closed talks." However, a senior BJP cabinet member said there will be no talks on the CM's post. "It will remain with the BJP, and Fadnavis will be CM," the cabinet member said.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut, on the other hand, said there would be no discussion on government formation with the BJP unless it agreed to give the CM's post to the Sena.
The BJP cabinet member, when asked how the party would prove majority on the floor of the house if it had only 105 seats, said the party had drafted an action plan for the floor test. "We have several options. Even without the Sena's support, we will secure majority," he said.
The BJP minister also ruled out the possibility of the Sena forming the government with NCP support. "Our information is that even if the Sena forms the government with the help of NCP, it will fail the floor test since the Congress will not come to their rescue," he said.
Patil made it clear after the core committee meet that the BJP stood firmly with Fadnavis. "The central leadership has approved formation of government under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis. He has been unanimously elected leader of the legislative party. The entire party stands firmly behind him," he said.
The meeting had been called by Fadnavis a day after he met BJP national president and Union home minister Amit Shah. Besides Fadnavis and Patil, those present at the meet included finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, rural development minister Pankaja Munde who was defeated in the assembly elections, BJP national joint organisation minister V Satish, irrigation minister Girish Mahajan and BJP regional organisation minister Vijay Puranik.
Raut said, "On umpteen occasions, we have made our views very clear. We feel the BJP must honour the agreement reached between BJP and Shiv Sena in the presence of Amit Shah and Uddhav Thackeray prior to the Lok Sabha elections. We are keen that the new government is formed under the leadership of the Shiv Sena," he said.
State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat held Fadnavis responsible for the "unstable political situation" in the state. "They had contested the elections with the Sena and now, the BJP has ditched the Sena over the CM's post. The BJP is paying a heavy price for its arrogance. All along it tried to wipe out not only the Sena but even the opposition. Fadnavis miserably failed in his plan," Thorat said.
Thorat ruled out the possibility of a split in the Congress, saying that his party was intact and that the BJP would not succeed in its designs to engineer a split to save a BJP-led government.