- Amit Shah accused Sena of coming up with post-electoral conditions
- Sena claims that it was promised rotational chief ministership
- If Sena has numbers, they can approach the Governor, says Amit Shah
BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday rejected the Shiv Sena's claim that it was promised rotational chief ministership in a new Maharashtra government, and instead accused its estranged ally of coming up with post-electoral conditions that could not be accepted.
"Before the elections, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I had said many times in public that Devendra Fadnavis will be the Chief Minister if the alliance wins. Nobody objected back then. Now they have come up with new demands that are not acceptable to us," Amit Shah told news agency ANI in his first remarks ever since the BJP fell out with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.
The Shiv Sena, on the other hand, claims that the BJP had agreed to share the chief minister's position with it during seat-sharing talks between Amit Shah and Uddhav Thackeray before the elections. The BJP denies making any such promise.
Amit Shah, who also serves as the Home Minister, condemned the manner in which his party's spat with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena had gone public. "It's not in our party's tradition to disclose what transpires behind closed doors," he said. "If the Sena thinks that it can revolt and get the people's sympathy, they really don't know the public."
Although the BJP and the Shiv Sena had achieved a comfortable majority in the October 21 assembly elections, the state was plunged into political uncertainty after the two allies entered into a tussle for power. President's Rule was declared in the state on Tuesday, even as the Shiv Sena desperately tried to cobble up a working alliance with the Congress-NCP combine.
In his interview with ANI, Amit Shah said that his party does not favour mid-term elections either. "Maharashtra was given 18 days to form the government, which is unprecedented for any state. The governor invited parties only after the tenure of the state assembly ended. President's Rule was declared when no party came forward to stake claim," he said, adding that any party can approach the governor even today if it has the numbers.
Then followed a scathing jibe at the Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP, which are now trying to keep the BJP at bay in one of the country's most politically significant states. "To those who criticise the Governor for imposing President's Rule by saying that establishing the next government is their right, this is what I want to say: You have the right but you don't have the numbers," he said.
Uddhav Thackeray had met Maharashtra Congress leaders earlier on Wednesday to hold talks that he claimed were headed in the "right direction". "Everything is going fine. Talks are going in the right direction and a decision will be announced at an appropriate time," he told mediapersons.
(With inputs from ANI)