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'Shiv Sena CM in Maharashtra a certainty now'

By PRASANNA D ZORE
October 25, 2019 13:52 IST

Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai, a confidant of Uddhav Thackeray, said the party is now looking to implement the 50:50 formula with its ally the BJP.

Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com reports

IMAGE: Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray with his father Uddhav Thackery and mother Rashmi Thackeray after winning the assembly elections, at Sena Bhavan in Mumbai. This was the Thackerays' debut into electoral politics. Photograph: Mitesh Bhuvad/PTI Photo

“Distinct possibility? Why? It is a certainty now,” claimed senior leader and Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai when asked if a Shiv Sena chief minister in Maharashtra was a distinct possibility.

“What makes you say ‘distinct’?” he asked.

Desai said this in response to a query about Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray’s emphasis on the implementation of the 50:50 formula during his press conference on October 24.

The formula was arrived at between Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, now Union home minister, and Thackeray when the two parties decided to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election in alliance with each other.

According to this formula, the post of Maharashtra’s chief minister would go to each alliance partner for two-and-a-half years of the five year tenure.

“Certainly, certainly, certainly! We are looking at that formula that was discussed by Uddhavji, Amit Shah and the Maharashtra CM,” Desai said.

Interestingly, the BJP has kept mum on Thackeray’s 50:50 formula that he raised during his press meet soon after the results were out on Thursday.

Aadhi formula, mug sarkaar (first let’s talk about the implementation of the 50:50 formula and then we will talk about government formation)’, screamed the headline in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana, indicating the party’s aggressive stance over the chief ministership.

The two saffron allies have been at loggerheads over several issues ever since they formed the Maharashtra government in 2014 and the second rung Shiv Sena leadership as well as Thackeray himself through Saamana has not flinched from taking potshots even at Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

“Rest assured that (the implementation of 50:50 formula) will be taken care of by Uddhavji. It is a certainty in the sense now based on the 50:50 formula arrived at between Uddhavji, Amit Shah and the CM of Maharashtra during the pre-Lok Sabha polls,” Desai, a close confidant of Thackeray, said.

Speaking about the poor performance of the BJP-Sena combine in the drought-affected region of Vidarbha, considered a stronghold where the saffron alliance won just 33 seats (29 for BJP and 4 for the Shiv Sena) in the 2019 assembly election, Desai said while the Shiv Sena’s tally has not changed, “we will be doing a thorough assessment of our overall performance in the state.”

A stronghold of the Congress-NCP once, Vidarbha had voted in favour of the BJP-SS combine during the 2014 assembly elections with the saffron alliance sweeping 48 seats (44-4) out of the 62 elected MLAs spread over 11 districts in Vidarbha. 

Desai said that his party has never been complacent even while sharing power in Maharashtra along with the BJP and has consistently raised people-centric issues like farm loan waivers and crop insurance.

“We should have done better and we will continue to do better,” he said. 

PRASANNA D ZORE / Rediff.com
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