Mumbai: In a latest development, senior Shiv Sena leaders affirmed on Friday the party will leave the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), if its pre-poll ally backtracks on the promise and refuses to share the chief minister’s post in the new government.
“If the BJP fails to honour the 50:50 formula, the Sena will leave the NDA. We have other options open, and thus we will resort to those,” a senior Sena leader told the Free Press Journal, requesting anonymity.
The senior Sena leader further informed that there is a trust deficit between the alliance partners. The Sena leaders were considered ‘second-class citizens’ in the alliance as there’s a BJP-led government at the Centre.
“The BJP is our ally and how are we supposed to trust them if they back out on their own words like this? They have promised us equal power-sharing, now they are backtracking,” added the Sena leader.
However union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said, “There was no deal between Sena and BJP over equal power-sharing and the party with the maximum number of elected legislators will have a claim on the CM post.”
Reacting to the comment made by Devendra Fadnavis, who submitted his resgination to governor BS Koshiyari on Friday, Sena leader and party mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ executive editor Sanjay Raut stated, “If the BJP wants to form a government, my best wishes to them. But let me remind, we can form the government, if we want and can have a Sena CM as well.”
Meanwhile, the Sena MLAs who were housed at the Rangsharda hotel in Bandra (West) are being shifted to a resort in Madh Island. The convoy of MLAs left Rangsharda around 8 pm with heavy police protection.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray requested the Mumbai police to heighten the security for the legislators, who are supposedly to be kept under police protection till November 15.
The Sena earlier had alleged that the BJP was poaching its MLAs and offering crores of rupees to cobble together the number for the majority.
A party insider said the MLAs were relocated because there was no adequate amenities in the hotel. It didn’t have adequate rooms to house the leaders, along with their supporting staff and security personnels.
He added most of the basic amenities like air conditioning and water supply were defunct.
Sena MLAs remained tightlipped and didn’t open up and spill the beans whether any of them were contacted by BJP leaders for switching sides. However, they stated Sena’s stand on the CM’s post is consistent.
Sena MLA from Sillod, Abdul Sattar stated, “Sena will not leave until its demand of CM is met with clarity. All the MLAs have placed their confidence in Uddhavji, and he knows better what to do.”