Saturday, 25 October 2014

'Sentiment' in BJP against forming coalition government in Maharashtra

As back channel talks continued between Shiv Sena and BJP to explore the possibility of a coalition government in Maharashtra, there were strong indications on Saturday that the latter may form a government on its own with NCP's outside support in keeping with the "sentiment" in the party.
"It (a coalition government) seems unlikely. The sentiment in BJP is that they want to go alone," a top party leader told PTI.
"All MLAs and grassroots workers are strictly against forming an alliance with Shiv Sena. There are high chances that BJP will form the governmet without Shiv Sena," a senior state party leader said.
Many in the party, he said, were still peeved over personal attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah by Sena leaders, including its chief Uddhav Thackeray.
A section of BJP leaders, including state party chief Devendra Fadnavis and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawde met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the airport to discuss government formation.
What transpired in the meeting with Modi, who was here for inauguration of a renovated private hospital and research centre, was not known, but the leaders were learnt to have conveyed to the Prime Minister the "negative sentiment" in the party over reviving its alliance with Sena.
A senior central BJP leader, however, said the "final call" regarding renewing the alliance will be taken by the top leadership. A state BJP leader said the party was not prepared to accept any pre-condition from Sena before the two parties reunite to form government.
"The party is not in favour of accepting any pre-condition from Shiv Sena for forming the government," he said, apparently hinting at haggling by the former ally over ministerial berths and portfolios.
There were reports that Shiv Sena wanted the two parties to follow the 1995 formula under which the then junior partner BJP had got deputy chief ministership, but Sena leaders have denied making any such demands. Despite Modi being in town, there was no meeting between him and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
"The Prime Minister came to Mumbai only to inaugurate a hospital. At a time when the PM has come for a social cause, there will be no political talks. Talks will start only from Monday," Shiv Sena MP from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Vinayak Raut told reporters after meeting Thackeray at his residence.
Asked if any meeting between the two leaders was scheduled next week, he replied in the negative.