Though former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena Member of the Parliament (MP) Sanjay Raut clarified that their meeting held on Saturday had nothing to do about politics but about the format of an interview for Saamna, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ally and union minister Ramdas Athavale said that Shiv Sena should rejoin BJP and both should form the government with a 50:50 formula for the cabinet posts. Athavale, however, suggested that Shiv Sena should leave CM’s post for Fadnavis.
He reminded Shiv Sena that it had an alliance with the BJP for more than 25 years in the state and both should form the government in Maharashtra. The union minister also said the Republican Party of India (RPI) should get its due share in the government.
“Shiv Sena will benefit because of the alliance with the BJP. Therefore, it should agree on a 50:50 formula with Fadnavis as the CM,” said Athavale. He further added that Shiv Sena will certainly get the ministerial berth in the central government.
"It has been one year since Uddhav Thackeray became the CM. If he wants, he should be given the Chief Minister's post for one more year. The remaining three years should be given to Devendra Fadnavis. I think this formula can go a long way," said Athavale. It must be mentioned that Shiv Sena and BJP broke their alliance, as they failed to arrive at a consensus on the CM’s post. Thereafter, Shiv Sena joined hands with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. BJP, despite winning 105 seats, is sitting in the opposition.
Athavale suggested that CM Uddhav Thackeray should not be involved with Congress and NCP and soon disassociate himself. “The alliance of Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI will benefit all and it will also be better for the state. This will also help bring more funds from the central government,” he noted.
Athavale expressed doubts about Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress having a majority and whether the government will complete its five year tenure. “The Congress-led government in Madhya Pradesh has lost majority and BJP has regained power. In Rajasthan, the Congress has somehow managed to retain power. However, Maharashtra is next. So, if Shiv Sena, BJP and RPI come together, it will be better,” he viewed.
Athavale reiterated that NCP chief Sharad Pawar should soon join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), as he will share power at the central government. “In the larger interest of farmers, Pawar should join the NDA. He will benefit. If Shiv Sena does not come with BJP, then NCP should join BJP and RPI and form the government. NCP and RPI were together in the past. “If an experienced leader like Sharad Pawar joins the NDA, Narendra Modi will get his support, which will be beneficial for the development of the country,” he opined.