SHIV SENA chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Thursday that he does not intend to end the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but only wants implementation of what was agreed upon between the two parties before the Lok Sabha polls.
Significantly, after the Sena MLAs authorised him to take “final decision” on government formation in the west central state of Maharashtra at a meeting at his residence `Matoshree, all the legislators were shifted to a nearby hotel in suburban Bandra.
The move indicated that the party feared attempts to poach its legislators amid the ongoing tussle with the BJP.
“It is necessary for all the MLAs to be together in the prevailing situation. Whatever decision Uddhavji takes will be binding on all of us,” Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu said after the meeting.
During the meeting that lasted for more than an hour, the legislators reiterated that the formula of “equal sharing of posts and responsibilities” agreed upon before the Lok Sabha polls should be implemented.
The Sena appeared firm on its demand that the chief minister’s post should be shared by the two allies for two- and-a-half years each.
“Sena MLAs passed a resolution authorising Uddhavji to take a final decision regarding government formation,” MLA Shambhuraje Desai told reporters.
Abdul Sattar, another Sena MLA, said, “The next chief minister will be from the Shiv Sena.”
Another legislator, on condition of anonymity, said Thackeray was “hurt” by the ongoing developments in the state.
“He feels the issues could have been resolved by sitting across the table. This did not happen. Instead, what was decided was denied. Uddhavji said he did not want to break the alliance with the BJP. He only expects that what was decided be implemented,” the MLA said.
“He told us to wait and watch,” the MLA added. After the meeting, the Sena MLAs shifted to Rangsharda Hotel in Bandra.
The Shiv Sena has been claiming that the two parties decided in February, before the Lok Sabha polls, that there will be equal sharing of posts in the state. But the BJP has ruled out sharing the chief minister’s post with its ally.
Maharashtra is witnessing an impasse over government formation since the poll results on October 24, though the the saffron alliance won 161 seats, easily crossing the majority-mark of 145 in the 288-member House.
The BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena 56, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) 54 and the Indian National Congress 44.