The BJP and the Shiv Sena are locked in a battle over sharing of power in the next government in Maharashtra. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray since raised his pitch for "equal sharing" of power, which apparently entails chief ministership for his son Aaditya Thackeray and allotment of plum portfolios to Sena MLAs, in the next government.
When results of the polls were being announced on October 24, Thackeray had reminded the BJP of the 50:50 formula “agreed upon” between himself, Shah and Fadnavis ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“I contested less number of seats for Lok Sabha and assembly elections. I cannot accommodate the BJP every time. I want to remind the BJP the formula which was worked out in the presence of Amit Shah,” Thackeray had said.
Independent MLAs who have extended support to BJP
The three Independent MLAs who have announced their support to the BJP are Geeta Jain, Rajendra Raut and Ravi Rana. Jain, a BJP rebel who won Mira Bhayandar seat in Thane district by defeating the party’s official nominee Narendra Mehta in the October 21 elections, extended her support to the BJP after meeting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here.
Raut, also a BJP rebel, won against Shiv Sena’s official candidate Dilip Sopal from Barshi seat in Solapur district.
Rana trounced his nearest rival Priti Band of the Shiv Sena from Badnera seat in Amravati district.
While Jain and Raut announced their support after meeting the CM at his residence, Rana has written a letter to this effect.
Independent MLAs who have extended support to Shiv Sena
Achalpur MLA Bachchu Kadu and his colleague Rajkumar Patel, legislator from Melghat, both from Amravati district in Vidarbha region, offered support to the Shiv Sena. Kadu heads the Prahar Janshakti Party (PJP).
When asked about her meeting with Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) chief and Vasai MLA Hitendra Thakur on Saturday, Jain said she had visited him to express her gratitude for helping her in the election campaign.
Jain’s visit to Thakur, who was supported by the Congress and NCP during polls, had raised speculation about her future political move.
On Kadu’s support, a Shiv Sena leader told PTI that it has increased the bargaining power of the Uddhav Thackeray-led party vis-a-vis BJP.
“We adjusted with the BJP between 2014-19, now it is time to have our share,” he said.
Since the election results showed that the BJP’s tally has gone down compared to its 2014 performance, the Sena has hardened its stand apparently to seek more pound of flesh in power.
(With PTI Inputs)