Next chief minister of Maharashtra will be from Shiv Sena, says Sanjay Raut

Striking a strident note yet again, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut on Tuesday reiterated that the next chief minister of Maharashtra would be from his party. Eleven days after assembly election results were announced, Sena and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continue to squabble over sharing the chief minister’s position and 50:50 allocation of portfolios.

“Chief Minister will be from Shiv Sena only. The face and politics of Maharashtra is changing, you will see. What you call ‘hungama’ (commotion), is not ‘hungama’, but the fight for justice and rights, victory will be ours,” Raut said, according to news agency ANI.

The BJP won 105 seats followed by the Shiv Sena at 56, the NCP 54 and the Congress 44. The majority mark is 145. Independents and smaller parties won 29 seats.

Since then the allies have been at odds over power sharing with Sena sending out feelers to Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress. The NCP chief called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday and briefed her about the ground situation in the state, with senior Congress leader AK Antony also present. The outcome of the meeting was unclear.

Monday witnessed hectic discussion in the BJP camp too with incumbent chief minister Devendra Fadnavis meeting Union home minister Amit Shah after which Fadnavis said, “There is a need to form the government in Maharashtra at the earliest… I am sure, I am confident that the government will be formed.”

The deadline for government formation is November 9, when the term of the current legislative assembly expires. If no government is in place by the end of the tenure of the current assembly, President’s Rule could be imposed in the state.

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