Nobody has approached Shiv Sena for support: Uddhav Thackeray

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Mumbai, Oct 19: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday that nobody from the BJP has approached his party for support to form the next government in Maharashtra.

Speaking to newspersons, Thackeray, in his first reaction this evening after the assembly election results threw up a hung house with the Bharatiya Janata Party as the single-largest party but short of a majority, however, made it clear that the Sena would not approach the BJP with any proposal to support it in the government formation.

"So far there is no proposal of any kind from BJP and we will not go to anybody with any proposal. If they make any proposal, we shall consider it," he declared on its erstwhile 25-year old ally.

Emerging as the second-largest party after the BJP, the Shiv Sena's position suddenly became tricky after the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party offered external support to help the BJP form a government.

The NCP decision has strengthened the BJP's position and robbed the Sena of bargaining power for extending support.

As counting continued, the tally stood at BJP - 122, Shiv Sena - 62, Congress - 42, NCP - 41, MNS 1 and others 20 in the 288-member assembly, with final results are expected later Sunday.

Shortly after this, a senior BJP leader from New Delhi called up and spoke to Thackeray, but details of the conversation were not immediately available.

Thackeray said that if the BJP assured a 'united' Maharashtra, the Sena could consider extending support, referring to the BJP plans to carve out Vidarbha state.

He admitted that the party did not perform as per expectations since it fought alone "but we are thankful to the people of the state".

Without taking names, he also took a potshot at Congress leader Narayan Rane who lost in Kudal and MNS chief and estranged cousin Raj Thackeray whose party performed miserably with barely a couple of seats in its kitty: "Those who gave pain to Sena patriarch Balasaheb Thackeray have been punished."

In a related development, Raj dared Uddhav to ally with the NCP to form the next government in Maharashtra.

IANS

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