MUMBAI: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that his party is keeping all other options open if talks with the BJP on rotational Chief Minister in Maharashtra fails. Addressing a gathering of newly-elected Shiv Sena legislators in Mumbai, Uddhav confirmed that the BJP and Shiv Sena will form the government in Maharashtra.
The Sena chief added that his party will work with its ally BJP on the issues like Hindutva, but the 50-50 formula, which was agreed and accepted by the two alliance partners before the assembly election will have to be implemented fully.
''I expect BJP to respect that agreement, but if the saffron party fails to clear its stand or unless it gives a written statement on the issue of rotational chief ministership in Maharashtra, the talks on government formation will not see any progress,'' Uddhav told his party MLAs.
The warning from Uddhav Thackeray came after the Maharashtra-based party sought a written assurance from BJP on the 50-50 sharing formula and said that Maharashtra should have a Shiv Sena CM for 2.5 years.
The party pressed for a written assurance from either Home Minister Amit Shah or incumbent CM Devendra Fadnavis, only after which the party will lend support to BJP in forming the government.
"In their meeting, Amit Shah Ji had promised 50:50 formula before Lok Sabha polls. Now, both allies should get a chance to run the government for 2.5-2.5 years. So Shiv Sena should also have CM. Uddhav Thackeray should get this assurance in writing from BJP," Shiv Sena leader Pratap Sarnaik, an MLA from Ovala-Majiwada, said.
It may be noted that the seat-sharing pact between the two parties has delayed government formation in Maharashtra.
The BJP and Shiv Sena contested the Assembly election together. While the saffron party won 105 seats, it failed to get a majority in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. Shiv Sena registered a victory on 56 seats, including the Worli constituency, from where their leader Aditya Thackeray (Uddhav's son) has been elected the MLA.
If Shiv Sena's condition is considered by the BJP, the CM's chair for 2.5 years will go to Aditya. He will become the youngest CM of Maharashtra in that case.
"We want Aditya as our CM. This is our first and foremost demand. Before assembly election, both BJP and our party had agreed on 50-50 power-sharing formula, which we wan to be implemented in letter and spirit," another Shiv Sena MLA Prakash Survey had said earlier.
''We are confident that party chief Uddhav Ji will stick to it during his negotiations with the BJP high command,'' he added.
The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance won an absolute majority in the Maharashtra assembly polls with the former emerging as the single largest party in the state with 105 seats. Shiv Sena, on the other hand, bagged 56 seats in the elections.
The NCP also increased its numbers as compared to the 2014 elections with 54 seats while the Congress slipped to the fourth position winning 44 seats.