New Delhi: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Saturday waded into the ongoing controversy over formation of government in Maharashtra, saying that Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP should continue as the Chief Minister as Shiv Sena leader and Thackeray family scion Aaditya did not have any experience.
Athawale’s Republican Party of India (RPI) contested the recently-held Maharashtra Assembly Elections in an alliance with the BJP and the Sena. While the BJP-Sena alliance comfortably crossed the majority mark of 145, recent days have seen the two parties engaged in a power tussle over the Chief Minister’s post.
On Saturday, speaking to news agency ANI, the Union Minister said, “Chief Minister should be of the BJP. Devendra Fadnavis should get the chance to continue as Aaditya Thackeray des not have experience.”
The Sena has been demanding that the BJP should follow the ’50-50′ formula, which, it says, was discussed and agreed upon during negotiations over seat share in Maharashtra for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. The said formula would see the two parties share the Chief Minister’s post for 2.5 years each.
The BJP, however, has refused to share the Chief Minister’s post with its junior ally and instead offered it a ’13-29′ formula under which the Sena would get the Deputy Chief Minister’s post along with several major ministries while the BJP gets to keep the Chief Minister’s post and most of the heavyweight portfolios.
In recent days, however, a possibility has emerged of a Shiv Sena-Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) coalition government in the state. NCP chief Sharad Pawar is scheduled to meet Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Monday, just days after he was met by Sena leader Sanjay Raut and, according to reports, had a telephonic conversation with Raut’s party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
The BJP-Sena alliance won 161 seats in the Assembly Elections, 24 seats less than their combined tally in 2014 state polls. While the BJP won 105 seats of the 150 it contested on, the Sena won 56 seats out of 124 on which it fielded its candidates.