Not just 5 years, Sena will lead government in Maharashtra for next 25 years: Sanjay Raut

Not just 5 years, Sena will lead government in Maharashtra for next 25 years: Sanjay Raut
Raut, however, evaded questions about whether the party will give up its demand for the Bharat Ratna for Veer Savarkar and accept Muslim reservation if the alliance with NCP-Congress is finalised

The Shiv Sena will lead the government in Maharashtra for the next 25 years instead of just five years, party spokesman Sanjay Raut said on Friday.

Raut made the remark while responding to questions on the ongoing scenario and whether his party will share the chief minister’s post with the NCP and the Congress, its allies in the prospective three-party government.

“Talks are on with the Congress and the NCP to work out a common minimum programme which will be in the interest of the state and its people. Whether it is a single-party government or an alliance, an agenda for governance is necessary,” he said.

“Those coming with us are experienced administrators. We will benefit from their experience,” he added.

Raut even softened his stance on Congress, his party’s political rival till recently, stating that leaders of the country’s oldest party have contributed to freedom struggle as well as the development of Maharashtra.

Asked whether the Sena will share the CM’s post on a rotational basis in the next dispensation, Raut said, “We want to have the chief minister’s post for the next 25 years. The Shiv Sena will provide leadership to the state no matter who tries best to stop it.”

Raut refused to answer questions about whether the party will give up its demand for the Bharat Ratna for Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar and accept Muslim reservation.

The senior leader also declined to disclose details of the proposed coalition arrangement between the three parties.

Asked how the Sena, a party identified with Hindutva politics and “anti-Congress” sentiment, will adjust with a non-ideological partner like the Congress, Raut cited past instances where parties of different ideologies have come together.

According to sources, NCP President Sharad Pawar will call on Sonia Gandhi later this week. Sena President Uddhav Thackeray may also meet her before a formal tie-up announcement is made from New Delhi this week or early next week.

In the Assembly elections held last month, the BJP won 105 seats, followed by the Shiv Sena (56), the NCP (54) and the Congress (48) in the 288-member House.

Despite securing enough seats, the pre-poll alliance between the BJP and Shiv Sena fell through following a disagreement over power-sharing, with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party insisting on a rotational chief minister.

Amid the political stalemate, President’s rule was imposed in the state on Tuesday after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari sent a report to the Centre, stating that the formation of a stable government was impossible in the current situation.