Maharashtra: Don't blame Shiv Sena for the collapse of alliance, says Sanjay Raut
Mumbai, Nov 11: Nearly two-and-a-half weeks after the Maharashtra election results were announced, the state has no government. Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said if the BJP was not willing to fulfill its promise of sharing the chief minister's post in Maharashtra, there was no point in continuing the alliance.
A day after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited the Shiv Sena to stake claim to form government, Raut told reporters here that the BJP "insulted" people's mandate by not abiding to the "50:50" formula which, he claimed, was decided before the Lok Sabha polls. He also said that when the BJP could tie-up with the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to form government in the then Jammu and Kashmir state, why the Sena could not do the same with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra.
"The BJP's arrogance that it would sit in the opposition but not share the chief minister's post has led to this situation...if the BJP is not willing to implement its promise, then there is no meaning in staying RPT staying with the alliance," the Rajya Sabha member said. He also took a dim view of the governor giving 72 hours to the BJP to stake the claim, but just 24 hours to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
''BJP could not form the government in Maharashtra. To blame Shiv Sena for that is wrong. If they would have acted in accordance with whatever was decided about the alliance (earlier), then they (BJP) would not have faced this situation today. Now they are saying that they will sit in the Opposition instead of giving Shiv Sena chief minister's position for two and a half hours. The most important responsibility of forming a stable government was on BJP's shoulders. Now they should not blame Shiv Sena as they are responsible for the situation in Maharashtra,'' he said.
Reaching out to the opposition parties, he said the Congress and NCP should bury their internal differences to come up with a 'common minimum programme' in the interest of Maharashtra. "The Sena, NCP and Congress agree on protecting the interest of Maharashtra," he said.
On Arvind Sawant quitting from the Union Cabinet, Raut said,'' Arvind Sawant has resigned based on orders by Uddhav Thackeray. There is no point in staying in the Union Cabinet just for one portfolio in this atmosphere.''
When asked if Shiv Sena has formally quit BJP-led NDA, Sanjay Raut said, "Arvind Sawant has quit the Union Cabinet today. You can derive any meaning you want from this."
Hours after the BJP declined to form government in Maharashtra on Sunday, the governor asked the Shiv Sena to "indicate the willingness and ability" of the party to stake claim. The Sena, which is the second-largest party in the 288-member House with 56 MLAs after the BJP (105), has time till 7.30 pm on Monday to stake claim to form government. While the Sena has been making efforts to reach out to the NCP and the Congress, the Sharad Pawar-led party on Sunday said the Sena will have to walk out of the NDA first.