Amid the impasse over formation of new government in Maharashtra, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said his party will talk to the BJP only on the issue of the chief minister’s post.
The BJP and Shiv Sena, which contested the October 21 state elections together, have been locked in a bitter tussle over sharing of the chief minister’s post and are yet to start formal talks over government formation.
“The impasse continues. There is no discussion on government formation as yet. If talks happen, it will only be on the issue of the chief minister’s post,” Raut told reporters on Sunday.
The Rajya Sabha member further that Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was in Aurangabad on Sunday to take stock of the crop losses in that district due to unseasonal rains last month.
Earlier, in his weekly column in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, Raut likened the impasse over government formation to a “chariot stuck in the mud of arrogance”.
He dared the BJP to impose President’s rule in the state, saying such a step would be the party’s “biggest defeat of the century”.
His remarks came against the backdrop of the BJP’s stand that it will not share the chief minister’s post, and minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s comments that the state may head for President’s rule if the new government is not in place by November 7.
The BJP and Shiv Sena are currently at loggerheads over sharing of power in the new government.
There was also speculation that the Shiv Sena may join hands with the NCP and form government with outside support from the Congress.
Some state Congress leaders have said the party should back the Sena to keep the BJP out of power.
In the recent polls to 288-member state Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena-56, NCP-54 and Congress-44.