BJP, Shiv Sena cold war continues; Fadnavis says no Sena minister before trust vote
MUMBAI: Shiv Sena representatives will not be inducted
into Maharashtra’s BJP-led government before it wins the trust vote, Chief
Minister Devedndra Fadnavis said on Wednesday, in comments that have not gone
down well with Sena and highlighted continued differences between the two
parties over power-sharing.
“Pehle vishwas phir vistar (first the trust vote and
then expansion,” Fadnavis told reporters when asked if Shiv Sena ministers
would be inducted before his government seeks a trust vote in the Assembly on
Fadnavis said talks about Sena’s participation in the
government were on at an “appropriate level” and the announcement regarding it
will be made in Delhi. Party sources said Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and
Dharmendra Pradhan were holding discussions with Sena interlocutors.
Fadnavis’ statement has peeved Sena with a party MP saying
BJP was not interested in getting it on board with respect and that Shiv Sena
would sit in the opposition if no “respectable solution” to end the uncertainty
over its participation in the government was found by Saturday.
“After hearing Fadnavis, the feeling amongst us has
only got stronger that they (BJP) are not really interested in getting us on
board with respect. He being the CM can say what he wants to. But if they do
not come up with a respectable solution by Saturday, we would have to sit in
the opposition,” he told PTI, requesting anonymity.
He, however, said the final call will be taken by Sena
chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Uddhav has, meanwhile, called a meeting of
newly-elected Sena legislators and other leaders on Sunday to nominate the
leader of the 63-member Shiv Sena Legislature Party. The new MLAs have
authorised Uddhav to nominate their leader.
“Uddhavji will chair the meeting at 4 pm on Sunday
where he will nominate the new leader of the Legislature Party in the
Assembly,” a confidante of the Sena chief told PTI.
He added that the outcome of discussions with BJP by
Saturday will decide if Sena’s group leader will hold a ‘key position’ in
Devendra Fadnavis government or be the Leader of Opposition in the state
“Let us see if we can get to a conclusion by Saturday.
That will decide what post will our group leader occupy,” he said. The final
decision, he said, will rest with the Sena president. With 63 MLAs, Shiv Sena
is the second largest party in the 288-member Assembly after BJP’s 121.