The NCP had called off its alliance with Congress accusing Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan of neglecting it and stalling talks over seat-sharing.
- Tussle over CM's post led to break ups
- BJP rules out post-poll alliance with NCP
- Cong aligns with Mulayam’s SP for polls
- Sena ‘return’ to pro-Marathi agenda
Mumbai: The NCP had called off its alliance with Congress accusing Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan of neglecting it and stalling talks over seat-sharing.
NCP's insistence on the two allies contesting an equal number of the state's 288 Assembly seats and the demand for rotational chief minister for half of the government's five-year term if the alliance retained power were the sticking points during the seat-sharing talks which eventually led to the collapse of the alliance.
The tussle over chief minister's post led to the break-up of rival alliances of BJP-Shiv Sena and Congress-NCP.
The development was not unexpected given the fact that the BJP and the NCP, which were the junior partners in the rival alliances, were uneasy over the dominance of the Shiv Sena and Congress respectively. Meanwhile, the BJP ruled out a post-poll tie-up with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP. "The question doesn't arise," BJP general secretary in charge of state Rajiv Pratap Rudy said in an interview.
The appointment of Chavan, as Maharashtra CM less than four years ago, was described by a senior Congress leader as an "experiment" based on his experience in the hope that it would galvanise the party.
But the way Chavan went about the task resulted in annoying many of his own partymen and also the NCP and its top leader in state, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, say observers. As regards Shiv Sena and the BJP, the ties were getting strained over the years with the BJP feeling that the Sena was not acting in the NDA spirit.
It is to be noted that the Sena twice voted against NDA's Presidential candidates. It voted for a "Marathi" Pratibha Patil and later on for Pranab Mukherjee.
The refrain of BJP leaders was that they were not getting the respect and warmth they deserved from the Sena leadership in the last few years.
Shiv Sena was always the 'elder brother' in the saffron alliance with BJP playing a second fiddle to the aggressive leadership of the late Sena supremo Bal Thackarey in state politics while it was the BJP occupying the prime place in national politics.
BJP wanted a level playing field in the state in the wake of the spectacular performance by the NDA under Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls.
After NCP parted ways from the Congress, the party has moved ahead to align with the Samajwadi Party for the upcoming state assembly elections. Samajwadi Party spokesman Abdul Qadir Chaudhary said Abu Asim Azmi, the state SP chief, met CM Prithviraj Chavan and Congress President Manikrao Thakare and decided to finalise the new alliance.
Republican Party of India (Athawale) president Ramdas Athawale claimed he has been offered the post of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister by Shiv Sena if it came to power, but he was yet to decide on a tie-up with the saffron outfit for the October 15 Assembly polls.
Athawale, who heads the largest faction of nearly half-a- dozen RPI groups, said the offer was made by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
"Uddhavji has requested me to form an alliance with his party and in return has offered me the position of Deputy CM if the Sena manages to form the government after the Assembly polls," he said.