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Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant in Modi cabinet announces resignation

The announcement by Arvind Sawant, who is Lok Sabha MP from Mumbai South, is a clear indication that ties between BJP and Shiv Sena are set to snap. The two parties having similar Hindutva right-wing leanings had a troubled relationship since 2014.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 11, 2019, 02.02 PM IST
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Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant briefs media after his resignation earlier today
Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant briefs media after his resignation earlier today
NEW DELHI: Arvind Ganpat Sawant, the lone Shiv Sena minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi cabinet, has said he is resigning from his post of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises minister. His decision has come hours after BJP refused to form the government in Maharashtra and the governor invited Shiv Sena to do so.

The announcement by Sawant, who is Lok Sabha MP from Mumbai South, is a clear indication that ties between BJP and Shiv Sena are set to snap. The two parties having similar Hindutva right-wing leanings had a troubled relationship since 2014.

BJP and Shiv Sena have been at loggerheads since the Assembly election results were announced on October 24 with the latter demanding that the chief minister’s post be rotated between the two. BJP had turned down this demand and offered some plum ministries and the Deputy CM post to Shiv Sena.

In the hung Maharashtra Assembly, Shiv Sena will have to bank on the backing of both NCP and Congress (which may extend outside support or stage a walkout during trust vote) if it decides to form the government. NCP had set the condition that Shiv Sena will first have to walk out of the NDA if it wants their support.

In the 288 member Assembly, BJP is the single largest party with 105 seats, followed by Shiv Sena with 56 MLAs. NCP has 54 lawmakers while Congress tally stands at 44.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had invited BJP to form the government but the party has declined. The governor then asked Shiv Sena, the second largest party, if it is willing to form the government.

Sources say Congress is still reluctant to support Shiv Sena as the two parties are ideologically different. However, the Maharashtra unit of the party is keen to fish in troubled waters to break the ties between Shiv Sena and BJP. Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi may take a call today on the issue.

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