In a testament to the seismic change in the state’s political scenario, Shiv Sena’s sole MP has announced his resignation from the Union Cabinet, paving way for his party to form government in Maharashtra with the help of NCP and Congress.
The development comes two days after the BJP, its estranged ally and the biggest party in the state, expressed its inability to form the government owing to its differences with the Sena.
Subsequently, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Sunday asked the leader of elected members of the second-largest party, the Shiv Sena, Eknath Shinde to indicate the “willingness and ability” of his party to form the government.
The major bone of contention between the saffron parties is the post of the Chief Minister. The Sena has sought a rotational CM, a demand it claims was put forth before the pre-poll alliance was formed. The BJP, however, has rejected the same.
NCP core group meeting to meet today
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will a chair party’s core group meeting on Monday to discuss the current political situation in the state.
Other NCP leaders including Praful Patel, Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil will be present at the meeting. The party has hinted at backing Shiv Sena on a condition that the latter party severs its ties with ally BJP.
“BJP has expressed its inability to form the government in Maharashtra. If the Shiv Sena wants support from the NCP, they will have to announce that they have severed their all relations with the BJP and their ministers in the Central government resign as well,” Senior NCP leader Nawab Malik was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Congress also called a meeting at party interim President Sonia Gandhi’s residence in New Delhi.
The NCP has 54 MLAs while its alliance partner Congress which bagged 44 seats in Assembly polls.
Shiv Sena’s sole Union Cabinet Minister to resign
Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant announced that he would resign from the Union cabinet – a move that is indicative of Sena’s willingness to comply with the ‘sever ties with NDA’ demand put forth by the NCP.
In a series of tweets, Sawant said that prior to the Lok Sabha election, a formula was decided on power-sharing between the BJP-Sena.
“It was acceptable to both sides, but by rejecting it, an attempt is made to portray the Sena as a liar. This is shocking and a blot on the state’s self-respect (”swabhimaan”),” Sawant said.
He accused the Maharashtra BJP of resorting to lies to snap off ties with Sena, which always stood for truth.
“Shiv Sena is on the side of Truth. In such an atmosphere why I should be in the central government. I am giving resignation from my ministerial post. I will do a press conference today at 11 am for the same,” he said.
Sawant swore in as Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises after 2019 Lok Sabha elections. His resignation came amid the latest political developments in Maharashtra.
The NDA alliance ‘Mayayuti’ had received an absolute majority in Maharashtra after the BJP won 105 and Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.