Sena arm twists BJP to give assurance in writing; 50:50 formula, half term CM & equal number of cabinet posts

Mumbai: After five years of being in the government with no real power, after the recent Assembly poll results, Shiv Sena is giving its alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a real tough time. The Sena chief, Uddhav Thackeray has demanded a written assurance from the BJP on the 50:50 power split formula. Uddhav has also threatened to pull out from the alliance if BJP fails to do so.

“BJP must give a written declaration signed by either Amit Shah or Devendra Fadnavis, to honour the 50:50 power sharing formula, including a split of the CM’s post and equal number of ministers from both the parties in the cabinet” said Abdul Sattar, Sena MLA from Sillod, speaking to the Free press journal after the meeting.

The 56 newly elected Sena legislators met with Uddhav on Saturday, at the official residence, Matoshree. Soon after this meeting, legislator of Ovala-Majiwada, Pratap Sarnaik informed the media, Sena won’t continue with the alliance with BJP unless there is a written declaration from the BJP headquarters on their party letterhead. He further said, even if the alliance is in place, there is trust deficit.

“If the BJP fails to agree on the committed formla, the Sena will pull out from the alliance. We have other options open and Uddhav ji knows what to do. There are trust issues with the BJP,” said Sarnaik. Sattar added, "BJP has hurt Sena's dignity." He believes finally Uddhav has played a masterstroke by being a hard bargainer this time round.

Speaking on the ‘other options’ Sattar informed, both Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have extended support to the Sena if they part ways with the BJP.

“Congress and NCP have assured us of their support to us, in politics foes can turn into friends any minute,” asserted the Sena MLA, clearly hinting, there is a ripe chance of an alliance with the opposition parties.

The BJP-Sena alliance contested on equal number of seats in the Lok Sabha polls. The pact was supposed to be effective in the assembly polls as well, but at the last minute, BJP sidelined the Sena and contested from 162 seats.

Sattar said the BJP had hurt their sentiments by forcing them to contest from 126 seats instead of 144 seats in Assembly polls. After the results, the Sena is on a war path to assert itself and ensure the BJP endorses the pre-poll promise.

“We compromised on the number of seats in the elections, but now we will not be generous, because this time it is about our prestige.” affirmed Sattar.

Echoing his sentiments Sarnaik stated, the Sena wants Aaditya Thackeray to be the chief minister for two and half years.

“Majority of the party workers want Aaditya ji to be the CM, but the final call will be taken by the Sena chief,” said Sarnaik.

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