The Shiv Sena has continued with its scathing attack on the BJP after several of its leaders made remarks against its efforts to form a government in Maharashtra and accused its former ally of “horse-trading under the guise of President’s Rule”.
In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena hit out at leaders like Union home minister and BJP chief Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Devendra Fadnavis and others after they criticised it for cobbling an alliance with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Congress.
“Those with 105 seats had earlier conveyed to the governor that they do not have the majority. How are they now claiming that only they will form the government?” the Sena asked in the editorial.
“…the intention of horse-trading stand exposed now. The lies of those promising transparent governance are becoming evident now,” it said.
The editorial was referring to the comments by the BJP’s Maharashtra unit chief Chandrakant Patil, who had said on Friday that his party has the highest number in the assembly and that it will form the government in the state with the support of 119 MLAs.
Maharashtra was placed under President’s Rule on Tuesday after no party was able to drum up requisite numbers to stake claim since the results to the state elections were declared on October 24.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena, who fought the elections together, could not come to an agreement over the idea of a rotational chief minister. The Sena has been saying that there was an in-principle agreement over the issue but the BJP maintains that no such promise was made.
The BJP was the first party to be invited by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to stake a claim, but it decided to opt-out and blamed the Shiv Sena for betraying the people’s mandate given to the two parties.
Governor Koshyari then invited the Sena to explore the possibility of government formation. The Sena, which had initiated discussions with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress, met the governor and sought 48 hours. Their request, however, was declined.
Subsequently, the governor invited the NCP to stake a claim and form a government. The next day, on November 12, the state was brought under central rule after Koshyari’s recommendation and the state assembly was kept in suspended animation.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party took on the BJP chief Amit Shah saying that his party had initially declined to form the government.
“…. Amit Shah said the government that will rule the state will have a figure of 145. This is constitutionally correct. However, those who are now saying the BJP will come to power have already met the governor and stated we do not have a majority,” it said.
Sena also hit out at former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis over his remark that the three parties – Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena – to form the government would fall flat on its face and even if they formed the government, it would not last for more than six months.
The editorial then turned to Union minister Nitin Gadkari who has used an analogy of a cricket match to drive home the point that much like in games, political fortunes too can change dramatically. It said that cricket has become more of a business than a game now.
“Gadkari is not related to cricket. He is related to cement, ethanol, asphalt and other things,” the Shiv Sena said.
It alleged that “horse-trading and fixing” are prevalent in cricket as well.
“Hence, the suspicion is always there whether it is the game that wins or the fixing (in cricket). Therefore, Gadkari likening the politics in Maharashtra to the romantic game of cricket is apt,” it said.
The Shiv Sena is in the process of working out a new equation with erstwhile rivals, the NCP and Congress, as it tries to form government in the state.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar will meet on Sunday to discuss their next course of action.
Their parties, which fought the assembly polls together, and the Shiv Sena have prepared a draft common minimum programme (CMP), which will be discussed by senior leaders of three parties.