In a major backing to Shiv Sena's demand for the Maharashtra Chief Minister's post, NCP's State Gen Secy & Spokesperson Avinash Adik, on Thursday, stated that the Sena had every right to demand the CM post, in conversation with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. Highlighting the recent political shifts in Karnataka, Goa, and Mizoram where MLAs switched parties to join the BJP, he said that the Shiv Sena could place such a demand. He added that the Shiv Sena was promised by the BJP in a pre-poll agreement, where BJP chief Amit Shah was present.
"After what the country has seen in the recent past in Mizoram, in Karnataka, in Goa, Shiv Sena has every right to demand the Chief Minister's post. Why not? They were promised as such. There are Amit Shah ji, Devendra Fadnavis ji and Uddhav Thackeray in the frame. They said there is equal sharing of power," he said in the debate.
Earlier in the day, reiterating Sena's position, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said, "The Chief Minister will be from Shiv Sena," while addressing a press conference. He added that the party's fight is for 'truth and lie' adding that they bore no personal grudge against CM Devendra Fadnavis. He further asserted that there was no deadlock from Sena's end.
Shiv Sena had previously issued an ultimatum to BJP stating that party chief Amit Shah and CM Devendra Fadnavis should issue a written statement assuring that the CM post will be shared equally for 2.5 years each. Speaking to reporters outside Matoshree, Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik said that Uddhav Thackeray felt that the 50:50 formula promised by BJP prior to the polls, should be kept. Sena MLAs have demanded repeatedly for Aaditya Thackeray to be made the CM - putting up posters. But this has been refused by BJP.
Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena leader Abdul Sattar revealed that the party was planning to send its MLAs to a resort — Hotel Rangasharda, amid alleged poaching attempts. Sena MP Sanjay Raut has dismissed such reports saying, 'There is no need for that'. This development comes after many Congress MLAs are reportedly in favour of supporting Shiv Sena to keep out the BJP from coming to power again. On the other hand, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has repeatedly ruled out a coalition with Shiv Sena saying, 'We have the mandate to sit in Opposition'. Meanwhile, BJP ally and RPI chief, Ramdas Athawale has said that BJP chief Amit Shah has no plans of interfering in the deadlock. The state BJP is huddling to decide the next course of action after discussing the 'legal issues of delay in govt. formation'.
While Shiv Sena has reiterated that it will accept only the 50:50 formula, BJP has denied of ever having agreed to such a formula reportedly offering 13 cabinet portfolios to Sena while keeping 26 for its ministers. Apart from Sena's portfolio demand, the party has demanded a sharing of 2.5 years in the CM post too. This has been refused by CM Devendra Fadnavis, stating, 'The next govt will be formed under a BJP CM.' With no respite to the deadlock, the Mahayuti alliance's combined tally of 161 (BJP- 105, Sena -56) is yet to be put to use to form a government.