Sena: BJP's confidence in Maharashtra hints at horse-trading; NCP says BJP afraid turncoat MLAs may defect
The Shiv Sena alleged on Saturday that the BJP now exuding the 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".
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil had on Friday said that they will soon form government in the state, claiming that his party can count on support of 119 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly.
"Those with 105 seats had earlier conveyed to the governor that they do not have the majority. How come are they now claiming that only they will form the government?" Sena said in Saamana.
"...the intention of horse-trading stand exposed now. The lies of those promising transparent governance are becoming evident now," it said, adding that "unethical" ways do not suit the tradition of the state.
Maharashtra has been under President's rule since Tuesday after no party or alliance staked claim to form the government or conveyed support of an adequate number of MLAs to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
The Sena reached out to the Congress-NCP combine for government formation after its demand for sharing the chief minister's post and equal distribution of portfolios was rejected by the BJP, its pre-poll ally.
The BJP and the Sena, which fought the October 21 polls in alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member assembly.
The Congress and the NCP, pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats, respectively.
Referring to Union minister Nitin Gadkari's Friday comment in which he alluded to cricket, the Shiv Sena said, "Gadkari is not related to cricket. He is related to cement, ethanol, asphalt and other things." On Friday, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways had likened politics with cricket, saying "anything" could happen in both the fields as those who appear to be losing the match might actually win the game.
The Shiv Sena said that cricket has become more of a business than a game now.
There is "horse-trading and fixing" in cricket too, it alleged.
"Hence, the suspicion is always there whether it is the game that wins or the fixing (in cricket). Hence, Gadkari likening Maharashtra politics to the romantic game of cricket is apt," it said.
Meanwhile, the NCP said on Saturday, the Maharashtra BJP is bedevilled by the trepidation that politicians who joined the party ahead of the October 21 Assembly polls will defect and, hence, its leaders are claiming they will form government in the state,
NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik made the remarks a day after Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said his party will soon form the government and claimed it can count on the support of 119 MLAs, including Independents, in the 288-member Assembly.
Malik also attacked former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over his recent remark that a non-BJP government will not last for more than six months, saying the latter spoke, like the general of a defeated army, to boost the morale of his party men.
"The former chief minister is trying to boost the morale of his party workers like the general of a defeated army. We think they have been defeated and they will have to accept this. They are not ready to accept defeat, but one takes time," Malik said.
On Patil's remark, Malik questioned why the BJP did not form a government earlier if it had the numbers as claimed by its Maharashtra unit chief.
"None can form the government (in Maharashtra) without the backing of at least 145 MLAs. They (the BJP) do not have their own MLAs, it brought leaders from other parties into its fold," Malik said.
He was referring to slew of leaders from the Congress and NCP joining the BJP ahead of the October 21 Assembly election.
"They (the BJP) now have trepidation that these MLAs (who joined BJP from other parties) will defect. Hence, they (BJP leaders) are making these statements to keep the flock together," Malik 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.
Politics in Maharashtra took a turn after the Shiv Sena walked away from its ally BJP over sharing the chief ministerial post.
The two parties fell out after having contested the October 21 Assembly polls together and coming up with 161 seats jointly.
At present, Shiv Sena is in the process of working out a new equation with erstwhile rivals NCP and Congress to form a non-BJP government in the state.