‘BJP Wants To Rule Maharashtra Under Garb Of President’s Rule’: Shiv Sena’s Latest Attack

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena, which is locked in a hard bargain with the BJP for an equal share of power in Maharashtra, on Friday charged the BJP of attempting to rule Maharashtra under the garb of President’s Rule. As Maharashtra assembly is set to get dissolved at midnight, the two warring parties are yet to reach an agreement on sharing of the chief minister’s post.

In a press briefing this morning, Shiv Sena MP and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut it was up to the BJP to stake claim to power and prove its majority in the House.

On reports of Congress MLAs being shifted to Jaipur, Raut said , “Why is there an environment of fear? …who is taking the decision behind the curtains? …let me tell you Karnataka pattern (Operation Lotus) won’t be successful in Maharashtra. It won’t work here.”

“This is about respect and prestige of Maharashtra – the land of Shivaji Maharaj. You have seen, neither Sharad Pawar bowed down, nor did Uddhav Thackeray,”Raut added.

Meanwhile, Union Minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari who is visiting Mumbai this afternoon is likely to talk to Shiv SenaUddhav Thackeray to end the deadlock between the allies amid reports of the latter not picking up calls from the BJP negotiators.

“Nitin Gadkari must be visiting his home in Mumbai, so what’s the big deal? If he is coming to Mumbai with a letter from BJP saying that Shiv Sena will have CM post for 2.5 years then do let me know,” Raut said.

O, Thursday, Gadkari rushed to his hometown Nagpur and met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who may emerge as a key negotiator in the attempt to keep the two Hindutva parties together.

With hours left for the expiry of the current Assembly and no sign of agreement on government formation, the spectre of President’s rule looms over the state.

The Shiv Sena ensconced its newly elected MLAs to a hotel in Bandra after its mouthpiece Saamana alleged that “the last stint in power is being used to get a second stint by distributing moneybags”.

In the Maharashtra elections whose results were declared on October 24, the BJP won 105 seats and ally Sena 56 in the 288-member Assembly.