Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday made an offer to the Shiv Sena amid its power-tussle with ally BJP in Maharashtra, saying if the Uddhav Thackeray-led party wants, if can join hands with the grand old party to form the government in the state.
“If the Shiv Sena comes to us with a proposal, we will put that proposal before our high command and discuss it with the allies as well. No such proposal has been given by the Shiv Sena yet,” Chavan said.
“The BJP and the Shiv Sena should tell Maharashtra voters what was decided between them. If they have so much of distrust between them, how can they form the government?” he added.
Chavan’s statement comes after Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday cancelled his party's meeting with the BJP on formation of the next government, hours after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis denied the Shiv Sena was assured post of the CM for 2.5 years as part of a power sharing "formula",
The development might potentially worsen the already strained relationship between the two parties. A senior Sena leader told news agency PTI that the meet, scheduled to be held in Mumbai at 4 pm, was cancelled by Thackeray after the CM's statement on sharing of power.
The meeting was to be attended by Union minister Prakash Javadekar and senior Sena leaders.
"Union minister Prakash Javdekar and party leader Bhupendra Yadav were supposed to attend the meeting to start discussions on formation of the next government from the BJP side, while the Sena would have been represented by Subhash Desai and Sanjay Raut," the Sena leader said.
The development came within hours of Fadnavis' presser in which he denied that the Sena was ever promised the CM's post for two-and-a-half years when the alliance was formalised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Thackeray has been insisting that the 50:50 formula on sharing of power was "agreed upon" between himself, BJP chief Amit Shah and Fadnavis ahead of the Lok Sabha polls this year.
The Sena had demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing "equal formula for sharing of power" before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state.
On Tuesday, the Sena also released an old video clip to "rebut" the CM's claims on sharing of power in which the latter purportedly talked about equal sharing of posts and responsibilities in the BJP-led state government.