This refers to the reports titled “Who will be CM? Sena and BJP slug it out after Maharashtra poll results” and “Sena’s hard bargain in Maharashtra” (October 27). The opposition faced by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the Shiv Sena (SS) in Maharashtra soon after the declaration of Assembly election results over 50-50 seat sharing should not have come as a surprise to the BJP’s top leadership. All through the last five years, the SS played a self-serving political game of sharing power in the national and state government and simultaneously acting as the alliance partner’s persistent critic also. Yet, the BJP entered into an alliance with the SS for the state elections.
The outcome was not synergic. Compared to the last Assembly election, both parties lost collectively (down from 185 to 161) and individually (BJP: from 122 to 105 and SS: from 63 to 56). The paradox now is that the SS is eyeing a sharing of the chief minister’s post when its popularity is declining continuously. When the 50:50 formula was struck in the nineties, it was the senior partner, but now its number of seats has come down. It is still 49 seats behind the BJP and is ahead of the Sharad Pawar-led National Congress Party by just five seats. Thus, its claim to the CM’s post is irrational.
The BJP should stick to the promise of renaming Devendra Fadnavis as CM that it made to the voters. If the SS withdraws support, the BJP should be ready to sit in the Opposition if it comes to that. Allowing a power-sharing partner to play the role of Opposition is against the tenets of democracy.
Y G Chouksey, Pune
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