We've the key to power: Shiv Sena

Weve the key to power: Shiv Sena
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Highlights

Shiv Sena has upped the ante over the position of Maharashtra Chief Minister on Friday with some of its newly elected MLAs, in unison with party mouthpiece Saamna, clearly stating that the BJP-Sena alliance dynamics had changed after the Assembly results in which the BJP secured fewer number of seats than in 2014.

Mumbai: Shiv Sena has upped the ante over the position of Maharashtra Chief Minister on Friday with some of its newly elected MLAs, in unison with party mouthpiece Saamna, clearly stating that the BJP-Sena alliance dynamics had changed after the Assembly results in which the BJP secured fewer number of seats than in 2014.

Friday began with Saamna declaring that "the keys to power" were with Shiv Sena, in further articulation of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's demand for "equitable sharing of power" under the 50-50 agreement he claims to have with the BJP.

"The polls did not deliver maha janadesh (massive mandate)," the party said in the article. It said the mandate has rejected the BJP's thinking that elections can be swept by engineering defections and splitting Opposition parties. The BJP's tally came down from 122 in 2014 to 105 this year.

The Shiv Sena won 56 seats in the 288-seat Assembly, as against 62 in 2014. The National Democratic Alliance – which included the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena and some smaller parties – won 161 seats. The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party together won 98 seats.

The editorial said the BJP "broke" the Nationalist Congress Party in such a manner in the run-up to the elections that people questioned if the Sharad Pawar-led party had any future. "But the NCP bounced back crossing the 50-seat mark, while a leaderless Congress won 44 seats," the article said. "The results were a warning to rulers not to show arrogance of power... it's a rap on their knuckles."

In a message that subtly portrays how Shiv Sena is working towards projecting itself as a key player in Maharashtra, party leader Sanjay Raut has made a cryptic post showing the Shiv Sena 'tiger' smelling a 'BJP' lotus with an 'NCP' watch in its neck. The post, a cartoon is accompanied by a comment - 'Bura na maano, Diwali hain'.

The tongue-in-cheek post comes at a time when post-poll negotiations are underway in the state. While Shiv-Sena BJP alliance is set to form a government in the state, the NCP watch in the cartoon also hints towards likely reference to Sharad Pawar's party for leveraging the negotiations with the BJP for portfolio allocation.

In the Assembly poll results declared on Thursday, Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats, while the BJP bagged 105 seats taking the total tally of the alliance to 161. While Uddhav Thackeray has already reminded the BJP of the 'formula' the two parties had reportedly agreed upon in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is unlikely to budge from its position of playing the big brother in the state given the higher tally it holds.

The ruling party has already clarified that Devendra Fadnavis will continue to be the Chief Minister. This, when Shiv Sena cadre has already started raising the demand that Aaditya Thackeray should be made the Chief Minister of the state. In fact, posters referring to Thackeray as the 'future CM' of Maharashtra have already been put up in Thackeray's Worli constituency.

Social media is also abuzz with remarks by Shiv Sena supporters asking the leadership to explore opportunities with the NCP with which the party is in a stronger bargaining position.

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