Late yesterday one thing was almost certain - the BJP prefers to go for fresh elections in Maharashtra after six months, on its own, blaming the Shiv Sena. Another thing that is being increasingly clear- the BJP and the Sena are likely to go for a split.
First it was Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who addressed the media and then Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray retorted. In the press conference versus press conference, Thackeray’s use of language was unprecedented. “If they call me a liar, in future also I will not keep any relationship with the BJP,” he said.
“Jannayak Janata Party leader and now Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, during the Haryana election campaign, had said ‘two Guajaratis will teach us nationalism’ and BJP has now embraced him,” Thackeray added.
Fadnavis, after tendering his resignation as chief minister to governor B S Koshiyari, addressed a press conference where he put the blame for the political stalemate squarely on the Sena chief.
“We fought together, but Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in his first press conference (after election results) said that all options to form the government are open... It was a shock for us,” said Fadnavis, who has so far been restrained in his comments. Even while coming out of BJP chief Amit Shah’s residence in New Delhi, he refused to be provoked.
A BJP leader based out of Mumbai requesting anonymity said: “As of today, we don’t have numbers. But neither has the Sena. After the press conference, the relationship with Sena has become almost impossible.”
On being asked whether the two will split, the BJP leader said: “At least it is heading that way.”
Another BJP leader in the national capital said that the party was never closed to talks with the NCP but over the last few days, Sharad Pawar’s party had hardened its stand. So what’s the next course of action? “Fresh Election,” answered the BJP leader.
BJP’s general secretary, organisation, B L Santhosh didn’t mince any words when he tweeted: “Maharashtra CM Fadnavis makes it clear that there was no discussion on the 50:50 formula ...All issues raised in last one week cleared by him in one press brief .. Calls the bluff of many a concocted stories.”
With both sides out to call out each other’s ‘bluff’, the tone and tenor has changed drastically.
Meanwhile the Congress yesterday held the Bharatiya Janata Party “fully responsible” for the current political crisis which has stunned Maharashtra, but said the opposition would wait for the governor’s moves before devising its strategies.
State party chief Balasaheb Thorat and former chief ministers Prithviraj Chavan, Sushilkumar Shinde, Ashok Chavan, and others called on Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar shortly after the verbal slugfest erupted between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray.
Thorat and Prithviraj Chavan said it is clear that the “pre-poll alliance” between the BJP-Sena has failed miserably, but since they secured the peoples’ mandate, they should form the government.
They pointed out that in view of the political uncertainties, the farmers and victims of the recent unseasonal rains and floods continue to suffer and it was imperative that the state gets an elected government at the earliest.
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