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2-min read

'Is President in Your Pocket?' Irked by BJP Leader's Remark, Shiv Sena Dares Ally to Form Government

Amidst brinkmanship on the government, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Saturday asked if the BJP was threatening MLAs with President's rule in case the impasse over government formation continues.

News18.com

Updated:November 2, 2019, 12:29 PM IST
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'Is President in Your Pocket?' Irked by BJP Leader's Remark, Shiv Sena Dares Ally to Form Government
File photo of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. (Getty Images)

New Delhi: The wait for a new government in Maharashtra entered second week after the election results were announced with pre-poll allies BJP and Shiv Sena continuing to bicker over distribution of power.

Amidst brinkmanship on the government, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Saturday asked if the BJP was threatening MLAs with President's rule in case the impasse over government formation continues.

"A minister from the ruling party says President's rule will be implemented in Maharashtra if government isn't formed, is this a threat to the MLAs who have been elected?" he was quoted as saying by ANI. He added that the threat of President's rule is equal to insulting the mandate of people.

The Sena, which is locked in a bitter battle with the BJP over sharing of power since the results of the assembly elections were declared on October 24, also dared its senior ally to stake claim to form the next government. The tenure of the current Legislative Assembly ends on November 8.

His comment came a day after Finance Minister and BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said that Maharashtra may head for President's rule if the new government in the state is not in place by November 7.

"People of Maharashtra have given mandate not to any party but to the Mahayuti (alliance comprising BJP, Shiv Sena and other parties)," he said. "Out alliance is stronger than Fevicol or Ambuja Cement," he added.

"A new government will have to be in place within the stipulated time, or else the President will have to intervene. President's rule will be imposed if the government formation doesn't happen in the given time," Mungantiwar had said.

Sena's Marathi editorial titled "Insult to Maharashtra, Is President in your pocket?" described Mungantiwar's comments "undemocratic and unconstitutional." "The statement shows the lack of knowledge about the Constitution andthe rule of law. This threat might be a move to sidestep the established norms and get things done the way one wants. This statement is an insult to the mandate of the people," the party said.

Reacting to Shiv Sena's editorial, Mungantiwar on Saturday asked if it was right to take an answer as a warning. "We were asked what would happen if government is not formed in time. We simply answered that according to provisions of constitution, President's rule will be imposed. Suppose, if a teacher answers queries of students, is it taken as warning?," he questioned.

In the just-held state polls, the BJP won 105 seats, while the Sena got 56 in the 288-member Assembly. The NCP got 54 and the Congress 44 seats. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party is demanding the CM's post for 2.5 years and 50:50 division of portfolios.

Both these demands have been rejected by the BJP which has insisted that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will continue to hold the post for the next five years. In an editorial in its mouthpiece "Saamana", the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said farmers who have suffered crop loss should be provided adequate compensation.

"The farmers in the state are awaiting immediate assistance and not a new government," the editorial said. The NCP will try to give an alternative if the BJP and the Shiv Sena fail to form government in Maharashtra, the opposition party's chief spokesperson, Nawab Malik, said on Friday.

Malik's comment came even as senior party leader Ajit Pawar has maintained the NCP will sit in the opposition along with the Congress.

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