Sena cancels BJP meet after Fadnavis says there was no CM post agreement
Hours after Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis denied that the Shiv Sena was assured of a rotational arrangement for the chief minister, Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday cancelled his party's meeting with the BJP.
The development might worsen the already strained relationship between the two parties.
A senior Sena leader told PTI that the meeting, scheduled at 4 pm, was cancelled by Thackeray after Fadnavis' statement in which he denied a power-sharing deal under hch the BJP and the Sena would split the chief minister's five-year term.
The meeting was to be attended by Union minister Prakash Javadekar and senior Sena leaders.
'Union minister Prakash Javdekar and party leader Bhupendra Yadav were supposed to attend the meeting to start discussions on the formation of the next government from the BJP's side, while the Sena would have been represented by Subhash Desai and Sanjay Raut,' the Sena leader said.
Fadnavis in a news conference denied that the Sena was ever promised the chief minister's post for two-and-a-half years when the alliance was formalised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Thackeray has been insisting that the 50-50 formula on sharing of power was 'agreed upon' between himself, BJP chief Amit Shah and Fadnavis ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
The Sena had demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing 'equal formula for sharing of power' before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state.
Earlier, reports stated that Shiv Sena has posted a video of Fadnavis in which he purportedly spoke about equal sharing of posts and responsibilities in the state government.
The clip was reportedly put out by Harshal Pradhan, a close aide of Uddhav Thackeray.
'Uddhavji has cancelled the meeting scheduled at 4 pm on Tuesday. We have sent out the clip of the CM speaking about sharing posts and responsibilities equally. Fadnavis should mind his words while making such statements,' the senior leader added.
In a related development earlier in the day, Fadnavis announced that Shah will not attend the BJP legislature party meeting on Wednesday.
A BJP leader had last week said that Shah might visit Thackeray.
After the BJP's tally fell in the recently-held Assembly polls, results for which were announced on October 24, the Sena raised its pitch for a rotational chief ministership between the two parties.
Sena MLAs last week demanded that Thackeray's son, Aaditya, a first-time legislator, be made the chief minister.
In the elections held for the 288-member House, the BJP won 105 seats, a loss of 17 seats compared to its 2014 tally.
The Sena's tally also came down to 56 seats from 63 in 2014. A resurgent NCP won 54 and the Congress bagged 44 seats.