Shiv Sena dismisses claims of power-sharing talks with BJP2 min read . Updated: 21 Nov 2014, 01:14 AM IST
The BJP's minority government in Maharashtra is surviving on tenuous support from the NCP
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Thursday ridiculed a statement by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary and Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy that talks were on between both parties on power sharing in Maharashtra.
The BJP’s minority government in Maharashtra is surviving on tenuous support from Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), as its estranged ally Shiv Sena sits in the opposition after power-sharing talks stalled.
“There is no bitterness in the relationship with Sena; talks are on and soon, something positive will emerge," Rudy told reporters.
“We are partners in central government and there are some difficulties in the state but they will be thrashed out," he added.
Sena leader in the state legislative council Diwakar Raote responded, “I am not aware of any Sena leader who is in talks with BJP; so for my knowledge, I request Rudy to reveal the name of that Sena leader who is having talks with BJP." Sena-BJP talks have become like India-Pakistan talks with no result at the end, Raote remarked.
A senior BJP leader who did not wanted to be named said, “The talks between Sena and BJP are stuck because Sena is insisting on having post of deputy chief ministership and the home portfolio. We are ready to give them important portfolios like energy, irrigation and even public works but as of now, talks are not making any progress because of Sena’s insistence on deputy chief ministership."
Analysts believe BJP is sending conciliatory signals after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) indicated that its support could not be taken for granted.
Prakash Akolkar, political editor of Marathi newspaper Sakal, said, “The tone and tenor of BJP leaders have changed after Pawar’s flip-flop on support to the BJP government and the so-called division within NCP over supporting the BJP government."
BJP leaders who were earlier ignoring the Sena are now trying to make peace, he added.
Sena and BJP, allies for 25 years, parted ways just before the October assembly elections when they could not agree on sharing seats. Though the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 122 seats, it needs 23 seats in assembly for a majority. The Sena, which won 63 seats, could easily fulfill BJP’s need for 23 seats. This opened the possibility of both parties joining hands once again; however, the NCP, which has 41 seats, announced its unilateral support to BJP government from outside.
Though NCP’s support reduced BJP’s immediate dependence on Sena, it is still trying to bring Sena on board as it is not confident about the durability of NCP support.