Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday while speaking to the media ahead of the now acting-CM Devendra Fadnavis' press resignation and press conference, stated that "If BJP says that they will have a CM from their party, we will give our blessings. But, I am also saying on behalf of my party that if we want, we can also form a government with a Chief Minister from Shiv Sena." Ever since the election result of the Maharashtra Assembly elections was declared, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena have been engaged in a bitter tug-of-war over the distribution of portfolios in the Maharashtra government on who will take up the Chief Minister's post.
Devendra Fadnavis while addressing the media denied any talks about the '50:50' formula. He said, "I am making this clear that there were no talks of 50-50 formula between the BJP-Sena and no promises of 2.5-year tenure of Chief Minister from each party were also made. I am unaware of such any talks between Sena and BJP because they were not done in front of me. If there were talks between Amit Shah and Uddhav Thackeray then I am not in a position to comment because they did not take place in front of me." Reacting to it, Raut said that Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray has stated that there have been talks about it. Speaking about Union Minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari refusing to enter the fray, Raut said, "Gadkari was not present at Matoshree when the talks were going on."
During the press conference, Fadnavis lashed out at Shiv Sena for holding backdoor talks with NCP and Congress. Raut said, "In 2014, there were many such discussions about several alliances. We have to look at that history as well. The BJP has held discussions with several parties who have spoken ill about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. If they can do that, then talking ill about a nationalist party like Shiv Sena is not correct." He further added that "Shiv Sena has always respected PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah." Raut further added that "Whatever role Fadnavis has stated about Shiv Sena, I think only Uddhav Thackeray will be able to talk about it. And I am very sure that he will talk about it."
As the window to form government in Maharashtra closes, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis submitted his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Friday ending his tenure as the Maharashtra Chief Minister. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "As the previous term is over, it is according to traditions to submit a resignation. Sharad Pawar and I, we just saw the entire press conference. We heard every word to word. He has led the state for 5 years."
In this year's Maharashtra Assembly elections, the BJP emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats while the Sena emerged victorious on 56 seats in the 288-member assembly in the state.