Uddhav Thackeray will serve a full term as chief minister of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said on Sunday, scotching speculation that the post could go to one of Sena’s coalition partners in the state.
During the 2019 talks to form the coalition government in Maharashtra, the NCP and the Congress promised the Sena that it will hold the post for the full five years, Raut said,
“I was part of the discussion. I was witness to it… a commitment was given to the Shiv Sena that it will hold the post for full five years. NCP chief Sharad Pawar also spoke along these lines a couple of days back,” he said in Nashik.
“The post will not be shared… it is a commitment given [by the partners] when the Maha Vikas Aghadi was formed,” Raut said.
The Shiv Sena was treated as a “slave” and attempts were made to finish off the party when it was in power with the BJP in Maharashtra from 2014 to 2019, Raut had said on Saturday.
“The Shiv Sena had a secondary status in the previous government and was [treated] like slaves. Attempts were also made to finish off our party by misusing the very power which was enjoyed because of our support,” he told party workers in Jalgaon.
Thackeray met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi last week, setting off political speculations in the state.
The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance crumbled in 2019 over the issue of chief ministership. The Sena, which was one of the oldest allies of the BJP, later formed an unlikely alliance with the NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Raut said he always thought that the Sena should have its chief minister. “Even if Shiv Sainiks don’t get anything, we can proudly say the state’s leadership is now in the hands of the Shiv Sena. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government was formed with this sentiment [in November 2019],” he said in Jalgaon.