Frenemies BJP and Shiv Sena in combat mode over power
The BJP-Shiv Sena tussle is the talk of our turbulent times
It is dig-in-your-heels and refuse-to-budge time for both the BJP and Shiv Sena, whose tiff over who would become the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, is still hissing and spitting. Devendra Fadnavis was elected the leader of the state BJP legislative party yesterday, and while the CM made the correct noises, 'crediting' Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray for the alliance's win in the state, both parties are in 'we are not relenting mode'. City loyalists and members of both parties weighed in on the debate.
Sena's Sujata Sanap said, "The chief minister will be from the Sena. Why can't Aaditya Thackeray be the CM?" When said that there was a belief that Aaditya still needed time to grow into the job, Sanap retorted, "Hasn't the Sena controlled the BMC for so many years? The city has worked well under the BMC-ruled Sena. It's a well-oiled machinery. So, the city will do well if we have a CM from the Sena. There is no question about experience. Why have these doubts when people themselves want a change? We have to do justice to popular sentiment."
For Ameet Mehta, Mumbai BJP secretary, both parties locking horns were akin to hiccups, which would vanish with a glass of water. He said, "Normally, there is some sort of impasse before the government is formed. It will be sorted out and something positive will come out of it. As it's a fractured mandate this time, each party thinks they have some majority. Let us not forget that the BJP-Sena have had an alliance since the past 30 years. Things will eventually settle down."
When asked to comment on the 'controversy', Sena's Harshal Pradhan retorted, "What controversy, there is no controversy. The Sena will have a meeting today and we will have more clarity on the issue." When told that the BJP line was — 'respect the mandate of the people', Pradhan said, "Exactly, that is what we say too. But at the same time, also respect what you had committed to before." Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "The people's mandate is that they want a BJP-Sena government. Now, that there is an alliance, we also have to remember that it was a 50:50 power-sharing formula. We are (sarcastically) just learning that power sharing does not include chief ministership."
Spokesman and treasurer of state BJP, Shaina NC cautioned, "You must remember that the BJP has a strike rate of 105 in these elections. So, legitimately it is the BJP that is in charge and the CM should be from the party. The party and the people cannot be bulldozed into believing something else. The Sena and BJP have come together on a common ideology of Hindutva, which is justice for all and appeasement to none. We cannot disrespect the people's mandate. It is the BJP which will have its CM."
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