Shiv Sena’s senior leader Sanjay Raut has accused Union home minister and BJP chief Amit Shah of keeping Prime Minister Narendra Modi in dark about the power-sharing agreement he had discussed with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Sanjay Raut’s comments came after Amit Shah on Wednesday slammed the Sena for not speaking up when Prime Minister Modi repeatedly spoke about Devendra Fadnavis as the chief minister of Maharashtra during the campaign for the assembly elections.
“Even Uddhav Thackeray was saying that there would be the chief minister from the Shiv Sena. Why did the BJP not object then? Raut posed his counter-question.
“We have the highest respect for Modi and it would have been insulting had we contradicted his statements,” said Raut. “It seems that Amit Shah had not apprised Modi of what was agreed in the meeting,” he added.
The point of contention arose as the Sena stressed that the Bharatiya Janata Party had agreed upon a 50:50 power-sharing agreement and rotational chief ministership.
The BJP refused to accede to the demand, saying there was no such deal between the allies.
The Sena then kick-started back-channel talks with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which won 54 and 44 seats, as the state plunged into a political crisis.
It even pulled out its lone minister, Arvind Sawant, from the Union cabinet in accordance with a pre-condition for a possible alliance with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, signalling deterioration of ties with the BJP.
Governor BS Koshyari had first invited the BJP and Sena and then the NCP to form the government, but none of them was in a position to cobble together the numbers immediately.
The Centre on Tuesday brought Maharashtra under President’s rule after a recommendation from the governor.
Without naming Amit Shah, Sanjay Raut said that some elements were hell-bent on creating a rift between PM Modi and Uddhav Thackeray.
Raut also tried to strike an emotional note saying that the room in Matoshree where the talks took place was the room of Sena founder Bal Thackeray and was virtually the temple for the party.
Now, the Sena, NCP and the Congress have begun deliberations on a common minimum programme (CMP) to form the government. The CMP will state the agenda of the proposed government and the power-sharing structure.