Let’s talk, Uddhav tells BJP leaders
After the BJP accomplished its biggest-ever result in Maharashtra, its former ally, the Shiv Sena, said it\'s waiting to be nudged.
Mumbai: After the BJP accomplished its biggest-ever result in Maharashtra, its former ally, the Shiv Sena, said it's waiting to be nudged. "They can get in touch if they want," said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, adding, somewhat sulkily, "if they want, they can go with the NCP."
Thackeray, 54, was referring to Sharad Pawar's party which openly said it is willing to back a BJP government with external support in Maharashtra. The BJP's top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, met in Delhi this evening to review their options.
The BJP has won 123 seats in Maharashtra; it needs another 22 to form the government. BJP leaders denied reports that their party president Amit Shah had phoned Thackeray to break the ice. If contacted with a proposal, said sources in the Sena, the party is willing to accept the post of Deputy Chief Minister, and is open to negotiations over other key portfolios - new found-flexibility for Thackeray, who went on the offensive against the BJP after they split in September, ending a 25-year partnership.
Sources in the BJP say their shared history and ideology makes the Sena "a natural fit". In contrast, Pawar has been an ally of the BJP's arch rival, the Congress, though that collaboration also ended unhappily ahead of the state election.
Senior BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh will travel on Monday to Mumbai to consult with party leaders there. Earlier, Devendra Fadnavis, the BJP president in Maharashtra and front-runner for Chief Minister, said "The Sena is not our political opponent."