Shiv Sena leaders Sanjay Raut and Ramdas Kadam met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday amid ongoing deadlock over government formation in Maharashtra. Addressing a press conference after the meet, Raut said that they told the Governor that Shiv Sena is not stalling Maharashtra government formation.
Raut, who termed the meet a courtesy visit, iterated that the single largest party in the state should come forward to form the government.
The development came at a time when the BJP and the Shiv Sena are engaged in a bitter tug-of-war over the equal distribution of cabinet portfolios and the term of chief minister’s post for 2.5 years each.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party is demanding the post of Chief Minister for 2.5 years and 50:50 division of portfolios.
Both these demands have been rejected by the BJP which has insisted that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will continue to hold the post for the next five years.
Meanwhile, independent MLA Ravi Rana, who has extended support to the BJP in Maharashtra, on Monday claimed that “some 25 MLAs” of the Shiv Sena were in touch with him over formation of the next government.
The MLA from Badnera in Amravati district dubbed the Sena as “very arrogant” and claimed the Uddhav Thackeray-led party will split and nearly two dozen MLAs will join the BJP if Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis forms the next government without its saffron ally. The Sena has 56 MLAs.
Rana, along with his wife Navneet Kaur Rana, the Independent Lok Sabha member from Amravati, met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari here.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the MLA said, “The Shiv Sena has been very arrogant in the last five years. Fadnavis should put a check to it.
“In fact, there are some 25 MLAs of the Shiv Sena who are in touch with me for government formation. If Fadnavis forms a government without the Shiv Sena, in the next two months there will be a split in the Sena and some 25 MLAs would join the party.”
Rana slammed senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who has been at the forefront of vociferously articulating the demand for equal distribution of power and sharing the chief minister’s post, saying he is a “parrot” of the party and needs to be reined in.
The independent MLA said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray should understand that the mandate of the October 21 assembly polls was in favour of the saffron alliance and not any one party.
“No matter what Raut says, Uddhav Thackeray should understand that the mandate is for the ‘Mahayuti’ (BJP-Sena alliance) and not any one party. Uddhavji should control Raut as he is making strong statements,” he said.
Late last month, Rana had offered “unconditional” support to the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the assembly elections, winning 105 seats.
Incidentally, Rana won from the seat in the Vidarbha region for a third consecutive term with backing of the opposition Congress-NCP alliance.
With PTI Inputs