The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said the political direction of Maharashtra, where the government formation is getting delayed, will depend upon the steps to be taken by "outgoing" Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The Sena editorial in party mouthpiece "Saamana" also underlined the need to form government in Maharashtra at the earliest "in the interest of the nation as well the people of the state."
"When the outgoing chief minister of Maharashtra lands in Mumbai after visiting Delhi which is witnessing worst smog, he will have to take some steps. The direction of Maharashtra (politics) will depend on the steps to be taken by Fadnavis," it said.
Fadnavis met Union Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah in Delhi on Monday, ostensibly to discuss crop loss in Maharashtra. After the meeting, he told reporters that a government will be formed in Maharashtra soon. The Sena has been taking sharp barbs at the BJP through "Saamana" amidst a cold war between the two parties over sharing the post of chief minister in new government since the October 24 assembly poll verdict. The ongoing tussle has delayed formation of a government, a Constitutional obligation that has to be fulfilled before November 9 when the term of the current Legislative Assembly comes to end. "Formation of a government is important not only in the interest of the nation but also for the people of Maharashtra," it said. The Sena indirectly blamed the BJP and the CM for the current political situation.
"Government formation is being made messy. Taking advantage of such situation, it would be unconstitutional to enjoy powers in the role of a caretaker and play games over government formation," the editorial said.
The Sena also wondered over the number game playing out for formation of government. In the recent polls, ruling BJP and Sena failed to get a clear majority. Both the parties won 161 seats together in the 288-member House, way above the 145 mark.
"After meeting BJP national president Amit Shah yesterday, Fadnavis had said he would take oath as CM once again and stake claim to form government. It would be interesting to see how (PM Narendra) Modi and Shah on one side and (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi and (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar on other side would arrange the required numbers," the edit said.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut, also executive editor of "Saamana", had said his party would install its chief minister with the support of "170 MLAs". While the Sena had signalled that it had reached out to the NCP and the Congress, Pawar on Monday met Gandhi. He had said the NCP and the Congress lacked requisite numbers. "This exercise of gaining the required numbers is no less challenging than landing a plane in Delhi's smog-filled weather," the Sena said, adding that "the people of Maharashtra have given a mandate and now it is their right to find out what exactly is happening." Sena also maintained that it was concerned towards rising prices of vegetables and "wet drought" that damaged crops of farmers.
"In the smoggy weather of Delhi, Fadnavis showed a ray of hope of forming a government in Maharashtra. This deserves accolades (sic)," the edit said sarcastically. "Maharashtra's air is "swachh" (clean), but now everyone knows what is happening exactly and who is meeting whom and for what purpose," it added.