Hours after Shiv Sena minister Arvind Sawant quit the Union cabinet, senior party leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not willing to fulfil its promise of sharing the chief minister’s post in Maharashtra there was no point in continuing the alliance.
Raut said the BJP’s “arrogance” has led to the current political situation in Maharashtra. He said it’s time now for Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress to “walk the talk” on keeping the BJP out of power.
Sena is seeking letter of support from NCP and Congress to stake claim to form a government and install a Sena chief minister.
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“I heard the statements of BJP leaders where they blamed Shiv Sena for not being able to form govt. It is wrong. The BJP is ready to sit in the opposition but doesn’t intend to give Sena what was promised. It is their arrogance. It is insult of people of Maharashtra,” said Raut.
The Sena is racing against time cobble up numbers to stake claim to form a government. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has given the regional party time till 7:30 pm on Monday to indicate its willingness and ability to form the government.
Raut said that BJP got 72 hours to indicate its intention, but the Sena got just 24 hours. “The Governor has given us 24 hours. The BJP got 72 hours, according to my information. Had we got more time to arrange the numbers it would have been better. We are not complaining, we will work to give a stable government to Maharashtra till the last moment,” he said.
Raut confirmed that Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray has asked Sawant to resign. “If the BJP has taken such a stand in Maharashtra then why should we stay in Centre for one post.”
The Rajya Sabha MP of Sena added that the NCP and Congress must act on their words of keeping the BJP out of power. “Two prominent parties have been saying that they do not want a BJP government. Now the time has come to walk the talk,” says Sanjay Raut.
Sena, NCP and Congress would have to chalk out a common minimum programme if they get together to form the government in Maharashtra.
“All parties need to forget their differences and work on a common minimum programme…. The chief minister in Maharashtra will be from the Shiv Sena,” Raut reiterated.