Published On : Wed, Jun 12th, 2019

Sena stakes claim for CM’s chair, cites Shah’s ‘approval’

Mumbai: Contesting Maharashtra finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s claim that the next chief minister would be from the Bharatiya Janata Party, a Yuva Sena leader has said the post will be rotated between the Shiv Sena and the
BJP, an assertion that could become another bone of contention between the saffron allies ahead of the state assembly polls.

The politically sensitive topic was raised by Mungantiwar, a senior BJP leader, on Monday when he told reporters that the next CM of Maharashtra will be from his party again.

“The next chief minister will be from the BJP. There is no discontent in the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance over this. We will even cross the 220 assembly seat mark in the 288-member House, this time,” Mungantiwar told reporters in Nashik.

He had also said the BJP and ally Shiv Sena would arrive at a seat-sharing agreement soon for the state polls due in September-October.

However, indicating that the Sena would drive a hard bargain before agreeing for an electoral tie-up, Yuva Sena secretary Varun Sardesai has claimed both the parties will share the CM’s post for a duration of 2.5 years each.

Sardesai, a cousin of Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray, tweeted that BJP president Amit Shah had “approved” the decision to have rotational chief ministership between the saffron outfits.

“Shivsena Prez Uddhavsaheb and BJP Prez Amitji have decided that Maha CM post will be 2.5 years each. People who weren’t present for negotiations, shouldn’t spoil the alliance for their personal gains (sic),” he tweeted.

It seems the Sena has interpreted chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’s recent statement, that both the allies would share all responsibilities and contest an equal number of assembly seats, as an indication of rotational chief

Another Sena leader has said there was no change in the BJP chief minister’s statement.

He said Fadnavis, heading the first BJP government in the state, had declared on February 19 that both the parties would share “responsibilities” and also the number of seats for the Vidhan Sabha polls.

Interestingly, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said in February that the next chief minister of Maharashtra would be from his party.

Mungantiwar had also said leaders of the BJP and Sena were working on a seat-sharing pact for the state polls.

“The final decision on seat-sharing will be taken soon…we will work hard to ensure the victory of our allies,” Mungantiwar had said.

Last week, revenue minister Chandrakant Patil had said his party BJP and the Sena and will contest 135 seats each and leave the remaining 18 for other allies.

The Sena and the BJP had contested the 2014 assembly polls separately, but the Uddhav Thackeray-led party joined the government later.

Of the total 288 seats, the BJP had won 122 and emerged as the single largest party.

The Maharashtra-centric Sena, which ruled the state for four years in alliance with the BJP in the 1990s, came a distant second with 63 seats.