BJP to discuss probability of parting ways with ally Shiv Sena in Maharashtra
Mumbai: Amidst signs of growing fissures between the two allies in Maharashtra, the BJP-led state government will discuss the "probability of snapping ties" with the Shiv Sena after it asked BJP to opt out of coalition government if they have any problems with their ally.
The "probability of snapping ties" with the Shiv Sena would be discussed in a joint meeting of BJP ministers and party functionaries tomorrow, a top BJP leader has said.
According to the party functionary, BJP wants the Shiv Sena to "quit" from power. On the contrary another senior BJP leader has said that Sena would not "dare" to take the extreme decision.
Meanwhile, a Shiv Sena leader here termed the idea of quitting as "rumours" and said it will continue to be in power.
The official agenda of the October 15 meet is the Devendra Fadnavis government's one year in power, its achievements and ways of celebrating it.
"Five major achievements from each portfolio will also be finalised in the meeting. There are other issues to be discussed as well," BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, even as he denied any discussion on the Uddhav Thackeray-led party in tomorrow's meeting.
Another party leader who will be part of the October 15 meeting, claimed that the BJP feels "suffocated" with the Sena's behaviour towards it.
"Though Sena is a part of the BJP government, both at Centre and in the state, it has not wasted even a single opportunity to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and the BJP," the leader said, requesting anonymity.
He further claimed that in the last few days, Sena has tried to "blackmail" the state government over Pakistan singer Ghulam Ali and former Foreign Minister of Pakistan Khurshid Kasuri (over their engagements in the city).
According to the leader, there is a "strong mindset" against the Sena within the ruling party.
In a closed-door discussion between BJP leaders and ministers held recently, "parting ways" with Sena was deliberated for the sake of development of the state, he said.
"We have 123 legislators, 7 independents are with BJP, we will need 15 more legislators to prove our majority if Sena quits from the government," he said.
"Once the Sena quits, at least 17 to 18 Sena legislators will join BJP," he added.
However, senior leader and state Education Minister Vinod Tawde has rejected the possibility of Sena quitting power, and asserted that the coalition government will complete its five-year tenure.
"Nobody wants to contest elections once again before completing their tenure. BJP and Sena will complete its five year tenure and nothing can affect the stability of the government," he said.
Ramdas Kadam, a Sena's minister, dismissed the idea of the party quitting the government as "mere rumours".
"Don't believe in rumours or messages on social media which says that Sena will quit from the government. We will continue to be in power," he said.
Meanwhile, last evening, even as party MP Sanjay Raut was busy taking barbs at the BJP and asking it to "opt-out" from the government, Sena minister Deepak Sawant took a review of the Health Department with Fadnavis.