Amid the ongoing powerplay and tussle over government formation in Maharashtra, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Sunday claimed that Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah has assured him that the Shiv Sena will ultimately join hands with the BJP to form the government in the state despite the breaking of ties between the two parties.
“I told Amit bhai (Union home minister and BJP chief Amit Shah) that if he mediates then a way can be found out to which he (Amit Shah) replied ‘Don’t worry, everything will be fine. The BJP and the Shiv Sena would come together to form government’,” ANI quoted Athawale as saying.
Athawale made the remarks just three days after Shah said in an interview that why the Shiv Sena remained silent when the BJP projected Devendra Fadnavis as the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance in the run-up to October Assembly elections in Maharashtra. “Now they (Shiv Sena) have come up with new demands that are not acceptable to us,” Shah had said.
It is to be noted that the President's Rule was imposed in Maharashtra on November 13 after no party and alliance failed to cobble up the required numbers to form a government in the state.
Notably, the results for Maharashtra Assembly were declared on October 24 with the BJP emerging as the single largest party after winning 105 seats. The Shiv Sena ended at second place with 56 seats. Though the BJP and Shiv Sena contested the election as allies and they managed to win a comfortable majority of 161 seats, the two parties failed to form the government after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray insisted on the implementation of 50-50 formula under which the post of chief minister was to be shared between the two parties for 2.5 years. The BJP rejected Shiv Sena's demand claiming that no such deal was agreed between the two parties. The continuous bickering over the post of chief minister finally led to the Shiv Sena snapping ties with the BJP.
After breaking up with the BJP, the Shiv Sena is now looking to stitch an alliance with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party to form the government in state. It is expected that Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress would soon form a coalition government in the state under the leadership of Shiv Sena.
In a related development, NCP leader Nawab Malik on Sunday said that his party leaders have reached an agreement over the fact that President's Rule should end in Maharashtra and an alternate government should be formed as soon as possible.
Malik added that during the meeting it has been decided that the next step over government formation in Maharashtra will be taken after discussion with Congress. It is to be noted that the NCP and the Congress contested the October Assembly election in the state as allies with the NCP winning 54 and Congress 44 seats in 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.