Sena cancels BJP meet as Fadnavis denies sharing of CM’s post

Maharashtra crisis, Shiv Sena, BJP, Congress, NCP, Governor's invitation, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, prove majority, Sanjay Raut, Arvind Sawant's resignation, Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Sharad Pawar
A Sena delegation is slated to meet the governor at 2.30 pm on Monday, to ask for more time to prove their majority. Photo: PTI.

Uddhav Thackeray cancelled his party Shiv Sena’s meeting with the BJP on Tuesday (October 29) during which they were planning to discuss the formation of the next government.

This occurred hours after Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis denied that the Shiv Sena was assured a CM post for 2.5 years as part of a power-sharing “formula”. The development might potentially worsen the already strained relationship between the two parties.

A senior Sena leader told PTI that the meet, scheduled to be held here at 4 pm, was cancelled by Thackeray after the CM’s statement on the sharing of power. The meeting was to be attended by Union minister Prakash Javadekar and senior Sena leaders.

“Union minister Prakash Javdekar and party leader Bhupendra Yadav were supposed to attend the meeting to start discussions on the formation of the next government from the BJP side, while the Sena would have been represented by Subhash Desai and Sanjay Raut,” the Sena leader said.

Also read: BJP never had power sharing deal with Sena, I will be the CM: Fadnavis

The development came within hours of the press conference with Fadnavis in which he denied that the Sena was ever promised the CM’s post for two-and-a-half years when the alliance was formalised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Thackeray has been insisting that the 50:50 formula on sharing of power was “agreed upon” between himself, BJP chief Amit Shah and Fadnavis ahead of the Lok Sabha polls this year.

The Sena had demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing “equal formula for sharing of power” before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state. On Tuesday, the Sena also released an old video clip to “rebut” the CM’s claims on sharing of power in which the latter purportedly talked about equal sharing of posts and responsibilities in the BJP-led state government.

“Uddhavji has cancelled the meeting scheduled at 4 pm on Tuesday. We have sent out the clip of the CM speaking about sharing posts and responsibilities equally. Fadnavis should mind his words while making such statements,” the senior leader added.

Also read: Maharashtra: BJP-Shiv Sena lock horns over portfolios, govt formation delayed

In a related development earlier in the day, Fadnavis announced that Shah will not be attending the BJP legislature party meeting on Wednesday (October 30). A BJP leader had said last week that Shah might visit Thackeray.

Ever since the BJP’s tally fell in the recently-held assembly polls, results for which were announced on October 24, the Sena raised its pitch for a rotational chief ministership between the two parties for a period of 2.5 years.

Sena MLAs demanded last week that Thackeray’s son Aaditya, a first-time legislator, be made the chief minister.

In the elections held for the 288-member House, the BJP won 105 seats, a loss of 17 seats compared to its 2014 tally. The Sena’s tally also came down to 56 seats from 63 in 2014. A resurgent NCP won 54 and the Congress bagged 44 seats.