'Siding with NCP will affect Shiv Sena's image'
A section of the Shiv Sena is not comfortable with the idea of siding with traditional foes just to spite the BJP. Here's why
As the stalemate in government formation enters the final stages, the pressure is mounting within a section of the Shiv Sena to stick with the pre-poll ally, BJP.
Party insiders told mid-day some senior MLAs are of the opinion that Matoshree should work on forming the government with the BJP, instead of mulling over other option like the NCP or Congress.
A senior functionary, on condition of anonymity, said, "Opinion is divided within the party. One camp feels we should not stretch the uncertainty any further and form the government with the BJP. The other group is of the opinion that we should be part of the government only if the BJP agrees for the 50:50 formula, including sharing of the chief ministerial post for equal tenures."
Sharad Pawar with Jayant Patil, Hemant Takle and Sunil Tatkare. Pic/ Suresh Karkera
Asked about the mood within the party, the leader said it was unable to gauge the sentiments of all party MLAs. “But, there is a strong sense that we should tie up with the BJP and form the government. The people’s mandate was for the saffron alliance. Tagging with the NCP or any other party will not only lead to an unstable government but even affect the party’s image in the long run, especially in rural areas. In the interiors of Maharashtra, Sena’s rank and file has always taken Congress-NCP leaders head-on for their misrule in the state and Centre. Changing tunes now will make things difficult at the ground level for party workers.”
News of the emergence of two opinions within the Sena comes a day before chief Uddhav Thackeray is to meet all his MLAs to decide on the future course o action.
Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar
“No one knows why Uddhav-saheb has called for the meeting,” said the leader. "But, I feel the party patriarch will gauge the mood of the MLAs. The Sena chief is also likely to share his views on the current scenario. I am not sure, but it is in this meeting one can expect some indications and direction about where the party is heading."
Nearly two weeks after results were declared, a new government is yet to be formed. The saffron alliance has got clear majority of 161 seats in the 288-member House. But, the Sena has refused to support the BJP, unless the latter honors the commitment it had apparently given before the Lok Sabha polls. The Sena has been insisting on equal share in power, including sharing of the CM post.
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