Sena, BJP Avoid Each Other at Shivaji Park | Leaders of the Shiv Sena and the BJP paid tributes to late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray on his seventh death anniversary at Shivaji Park in Mumbai, but evidently took care to avoid each other. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his family members including son and newly-elected MLA Aaditya visited Bal Thackeray's memorial at Shivaji Park along with several party leaders. While the Sena leaders visited between 10 am to 12 noon, BJP leaders Devendra Fadnavis, Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde visited the place post 1 pm, after the Thackerays and Sena leaders, except Uddhav's aide Milind Narvekar, had left.
Meanwhile, in Delhi, seating arrangement of Shiv Sena MPs in both houses of Parliament have been changed. They will now sit in the fifth row on the opposition side, sources told News18.
NCP Turncoats to Return on Merit | The NCP's Maharashtra unit chief Jayant Patil said on Sunday that those who had left the party before the assembly elections will be readmitted only on the basis of "merit". Asked if there will be a `mega-bharti' (wholesale induction of leaders) into the NCP, he said, "There won't be any mega-bharti. Leaders will be admitted into the party fold on the basis of merit. "While admitting people into the party, we will have to consider the loyalty shown by younger leaders from each constituency who stayed with us," he added. The issues related to formation of government in Maharashtra in alliance with the Shiv Sena and Congress were likely to be discussed in the core committee meeting, Patil said.
Ramdas Athawale says he spoke to Union Minister Amit Shah:
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale: I told Amit bhai (BJP President Amit Shah) that if he mediates then a way can be found out to which he (Amit Shah) replied "don't worry, everything will be fine. BJP & Shiv Sena will come together to form government". #Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/JMIPnQJsuM— ANI (@ANI) November 17, 2019
The seating arrangement of Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant has been changed from first row to third row in Lok Sabha. Other Shiv Sena MPs will be allocated new seats soon.
The seating arrangement of Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant (who recently resigned as Union Minister) has been changed from first row to third row in Lok Sabha. Other Shiv Sena MPs will be allocated new seats soon.— ANI (@ANI) November 17, 2019
Fadnavis Heckled by Sena Workers | Devendra Fadnavis was subjected to sloganeering by a section of Shiv Sena workers as he left Shivaji Park in Mumbai after paying tribute to Bal Thackeray on his ninth death anniversary. Some Sena workers in close proximity to the former CM's convoy were seen shouting in Marathi Fadnavis' assembly poll campaign slogan: 'I will be back (as CM)' along with the Sena's traditional 'Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki jai' war cry. Fadnavis and his entourage, which included several senior BJP leaders, moved on without reacting to the jibes. There were no Shiv Sena leaders, except Uddhav Thackeray's PA Milind Narvekar, when Fadnavis arrived at Shivaji Park to pay tribute to the founder of the Maharashtrian party.
Shiv Sena Allotted Seat in Opposition | Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said, "Shiv Sena is not coming to NDA meeting. Their minister Arvind Sawant has resigned. They're trying to work with Congress, so naturally, they've opted to sit in opposition and we've agreed to that. We're allotting them seat in opposition both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha."
BJP leaders Devendra Fadnavis, Pankaja Munde and Vinod Tawde pay tribute to Shiv Sena's Balasaheb Thackeray on his death anniversary today.
Shiv Sena Workers Raise Slogan | Slogan of "Sarkar kunauchi? Shiv Sena chi" (Whose government? Shiv Sena's) raised by Shiv Sena workers, when BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was leaving after paying tributes to Balasaheb Thackeray on his death anniversary today, in Mumbai.
#WATCH Maharashtra: Slogan of "Sarkar kunauchi? Shiv Sena chi" (Whose government? Shiv Sena's) raised by Shiv Sena workers, when BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was leaving after paying tributes to Balasaheb Thackeray on his death anniversary today, in Mumbai. pic.twitter.com/AbsA5Gm1f5— ANI (@ANI) November 17, 2019
A scheduled meeting on Saturday between leaders of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress and Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to discuss the agrarian crisis in the state has been postponed. Sena legislative party leader Eknath Shinde said the meeting was deferred as key leaders of all the three parties and MLAs were busy in their constituencies in view of the "wet drought" and for submitting details of their poll expenditure to the Election Commission.
Responding to questions on whether Shiv Sena will share CM's post with the NCP and the Congress, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that his party will lead the government in Maharashtra for the next "25 years" and not just five years. "Maharashtra's next government will be led by the Shiv Sena and the common minimum programme (CMP) being worked out along with the Congress and the NCP ahead of its formation will be in the "state's interest", said Raut.
There Will be CM from Shiv Sena: Raut | Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "We will do anything for Balasaheb Thackeray, govt will be formed. The promise which Uddhav ji made to Balasaheb, that there will be a Chief Minister from Shiv Sena...you will soon see that Maharashtra CM will be from Shiv Sena."
Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena: We will do anything for #Balasaheb, govt will be formed. The promise which Uddhav ji made to Balasaheb, that there will be a Chief Minister from Shiv Sena...you will soon see that Maharashtra CM will be from Shiv Sena. https://t.co/Zi31eXBWfQ pic.twitter.com/1BnpZyTKxo— ANI (@ANI) November 17, 2019
Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and his wife Rashmi Thackeray pay tribute to Balasaheb Thackeray on his death anniversary.
Taking a dig at the BJP's campaign centring on the founder of the Maratha Empire, Sanjay Raut wrote, "The BJP has been campaigning that it is the only party blessed by Shivaji Maharaj. Despite that, BJP candidate Udayanraje Bhosale, lost the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll." Udayanraje Bhosale, a direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji, quit the NCP and joined the BJP, but was trounced by the Sharad Pawar-led party's Shriniwas Patil in the Lok Sabha bypoll held along with the October 21 Assembly elections.
The Shiv Sena took a swipe at one-time ally BJP and said Chhatrapati Shivaji was not "confined to any caste or party" but belongs to all 11 crore people of Maharashtra. The BJP had mounted a campaign seen by political observers as an effort to appropriate the legacy of the legendary warrior-king in a bid to upstage the Sena. Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, writing in his weekly 'Rokhthok' column in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', said, "Shivaji Maharaj is not confined to a caste or a party. He belongs to all 11 crore people of Maharashtra."
Shiv Sainik to be Next CM? | The NCP have clarified that the CM candidate from the alliance will be from Shiv Sena. "The chief minister will be from the Shiv Sena. It walked away from the 'mahayuti' (Sena-BJP alliance) on the issue of chief minister's post. It is our responsibility to respect its sentiment," NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said. At a meeting in Mumbai on Thursday, leaders of the Congress, NCP and Sena prepared the draft CMP, which will be forwarded for approval to top leaders of the three parties.
The alliance between the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena will result in the end of the chapter between BJP-Shiv Sena allinace. Shiv Sena was BJP's oldest ally and the two parties had been together for decades. The two parties were at a deadlock over CM's chair in Maharashtra after results to assembly polls were declared on October 24.
Shiv Sena to Stay Away from NDA Meet | The Shiv Sena is most likely to stay away from the meeting of NDA constituents in Delhi today on the eve of the winter session of Parliament beginning on November 18, a party leader said. Sunday, November 17, also happens to be the death anniversary of Sena founder Bal Thackeray. The Sena, a long-standing constituent of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), fell out with the BJP over sharing of the chief minister's post, a few days after the results of the Maharashtra assembly polls were announced on October 24.
Sharad Pawar has convened a meeting of the NCP's core committee in Pune today, which makes it difficult for him to reach Delhi in time, party sources said on Saturday. Earlier, sources in both the parties had said that Pawar and Gandhi may meet on Sunday. "The core committee meeting will begin in Pune at 4 pm. After that Pawar will head to Delhi in the evening. So the meeting with Sonia Gandhi seems unlikely," sources said.
Chandrakant Patil had said, "BJP is the single largest party, and with the support of Independents our tally reaches 119. With this tally, BJP will form the government. "We are keeping a close watch on every political development in the state," he added. The BJP-Sena alliance, which won 161 seats, fell apart over the Sena's demand of sharing of chief minister's post.
Following BJP and NCP paying tribute to Balasaheb Thackeray, Shiv Sena also paid tribute to its founding leader.
"जगाच्या इतिहासामध्ये, जगाच्या पाठीवर असा दुसरा एकही व्यंगचित्रकार नाही की ज्याने आपल्या कुंचल्याच्या सामर्थ्याने सर्वसामान्यांमध्ये वाघाची ताकद निर्माण केली."— ShivSena - शिवसेना (@ShivSena) November 17, 2019
हिंदुहृदयसम्राट शिवसेनाप्रमुख वंदनीय बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांच्या पवित्र स्मृतीस विनम्र अभिवादन! pic.twitter.com/aIzbAnwilY
After BJP paid tribute to Balasaheb Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also paid his tribute to the late Shiv Sena leader.
प्रादेशिक अस्मितेचा हुंकार स्वाभिमानाने मिरवणारा मराठी माणूस स्व. बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांनी उभा केला. समाजकारणाला अग्रक्रम देणारं राजकारण, अमोघ वक्तृत्व, रोखठोक स्वभाव यामुळेच त्यांना अनुयायांचं निरपेक्ष आणि चिरंतर प्रेम मिळालं. त्यांच्या स्मृतिदिनी त्यांना विनम्र अभिवादन! pic.twitter.com/9YO1YX3rsp— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) November 17, 2019
Highlights of the Week | The Governor, last Saturday (9 Nov), wrote to Fadnavis to initiate the process of government formation, but the party failed to show the numbers after Shiv Sena refuse to come at an agreement. The Governor, then invited Shiv Sena on Sunday to form the government. Shiv Sena failed to show letter of support from Congress and NCP. On Monday, the Governor invited NCP to form the government. Finally on Tuesday afternoon, the Governor recommended President’s rule in the state.
Fadnavis Pays Tribute to Balasaheb | Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis pays tribute to Bal Thackeray. The video, shared on Twitter, shows Bal Thackeray with PM Modi, BJP senior leader Lal Krishna Advani.
स्वाभिमान जपण्याचा मूलमंत्र आदरणीय बाळासाहेबांनी आपल्या सर्वांना दिला ! pic.twitter.com/sPdALKDlzS— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) November 17, 2019
The meeting between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi to discuss a possible alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra may not take place today, sources said. Pawar has convened a meeting of the NCP's core committee in Pune, which makes it difficult for him to reach Delhi in time, party sources said on Saturday. Earlier, sources in both the parties had said that Pawar and Gandhi may meet today. "The core committee meeting will begin in Pune at 4 pm. After that Pawar will head to Delhi in the evening. So the meeting with Sonia Gandhi seems unlikely," sources said.
Amid the current political stalemate in Maharashtra, Union minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Friday likened politics with cricket, saying "anything" could happen in both these fields as those who appear to be losing the match might actually win the game. Queried on the Union minister's statement, Malik said he was not aware whether Gadkari had understood that people have "clean bowled" the BJP. Maharashtra is at present under Presidents rule. Read more
The Shiv Sena yesterday alleged that the BJP was now exuding confidence of forming government in Maharashtra after backing off initially, makes its intention of horse-trading under the guise of President's rule evident. In its mouthpiece Saamana, Sena also hit out at former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis over his remark that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance won't last beyond six months, saying the new political equation was giving "stomach ache to several people".
File photo of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.
The Sena also accused the BJP of having intentions to indulge in "horse-trading" in the state, which is under President's rule since November 12. The Thackeray-led party fell out with the BJP over sharing of chief minister's post after the two allies won a comfortable majority in the last month's assembly polls.
The Sena's lone minister in the Narendra Modi government, Arvind Sawant, resigned on November 11. "I have learnt that the meeting (of NDA constituents) is being held on November 17. We had already decided against attending the meeting considering the developments in Maharashtra...our minister resigning from the Central government," Sanjay Raut said.
Asked if only a formal announcement of the Sena walking out of the NDA remains to be made, Raut said, "You can say that. There is no problem with saying that." He also said that "we want Uddhav-ji to lead the government in Maharashtra". The Sena, NCP and Congress have reached a consensus on a Common Minimum Programme (CMP), the basis of their proposed coalition government, and there was no need to discuss it in Delhi, Raut said.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has convened a meeting of his party's core committee in Pune on Sunday. He may meet senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in Delhi next week, and a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi may follow to discuss the CMP and other modalities of forming a coalition with the Sena, sources said.
Earlier in the day, the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' sharpened its attack on the BJP in its editorial over a statement by state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil. Patil had said on Friday that with the support of independents, his party's tally in the 288-member Assembly stands at 119, and it will form government soon. The BJP's own strength is 105.
"Those with 105 seats had earlier conveyed to the governor that they do not have the majority. How come they are now claiming that only they will form the government?" the Sena mouthpiece asked. "...the intention of horse-trading stand exposed now," it added.
Maharashtra was placed under President's rule on November 12 after no party or alliance staked claim to form government. The Sena reached out to the Congress-NCP combine for support after its alliance with the BJP collapsed.
The BJP and Sena, which fought the October 21 polls in alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively. The Congress and NCP, pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats.
Meanwhile, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was quoted as saying that the BJP would form the government. The BJP held a meeting of its defeated candidates here on Saturday. State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil told reporters later that Fadnavis expressed confidence that the party would form government.
(With PTI inputs)
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