Shiv Sena to sit in opposition in Maharashtra
MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 10
In a sudden move, the Shiv Sena Monday announced its decision to sit in the opposition in Maharashtra assembly and not join the minority BJP government headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. “We have sent a letter signed by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to this effect to the legislature secretariat. In the letter we have requested that the name of Sena legislature party leader Eknath Shinde should be announced as leader of opposition at the earliest,” said party spokesperson Neelam Gorhe.
She added that the Sena’s claim to the leader of opposition post was by virtue of its position as the second largest party with 63 legislators in the 287-member house, with the Congress having 42 and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) 41 members.
The party’s decision came in the wake of the Shiv Sena chief’s two-day ultimatum Sunday to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to declare that it would not seek the NCP’s support to save his minority government in the crucial vote of confidence scheduled here Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Gorhe indicated the party’s mood on the issue when she said that talks with the BJP on power-sharing and other pending matters have been stalled.
The Sena’s 63 members came to the Vidhan Bhavan wearing traditional Maharashtrian orange turbans, raising slogans and symbolically occupied the opposition benches in the assembly.
The first two days of the special three-day session of the assembly are to be devoted to the members being administered oath.
The move was apparently triggered by NCP president Sharad Pawar’s reiteration of his party’s “unconditional external support” to the BJP “in the interest of political stability” in the state and to avoid fresh elections.
The Sena decision brings down the curtain on nearly two months of bitter acrimony between the two allies of 25 years which resulted in snapping of ties Sep 25, fighting the elections separately. The Sena boycotted the cabinet expansion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and also withdrew its nominee at the last minute Sunday.
Consult us before deciding on Mumbai CEO: Sena warns BJP
MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 10
Amid continuing stand-off with the BJP over the proposal to appoint a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Mumbai, the Shiv Sena today warned its former ally to consult it before taking any such decision for the megapolis.
“The current CM has big plans for the state. He wants to do good work for Maharashtra. But it will be better for them (the BJP) if they consult the Shiv Sena and know its stand before taking any decision on the capital of Maharashtra,” the Sena said in an edit mouthpiece Saamana.
“What will you achieve by appointing a CEO ? We request you to not invite the wrath or curse of Mumbaikars,” it said.
Fadnavis’ idea to have a CEO is for administrative convenience, as several ongoing projects, according to him in Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region are delayed due to lack of coordination and jurisdictional issues.
As per the proposal, the CEO would be an officer of the rank of Additional Chief Secretary.
The Sena said it would be wise for the CM to ponder over the work done by agencies like Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) that were formed for the development of Mumbai before taking a decision on the CEO.
“The previous state government in the name of development of the city had created agencies like the MMRDA. What success did it have in addressing the problems of Mumbai and developing the city ? It will be good for the CM to study all these facts before he arrives on a decision,” the Sena said.
“The CM will be increasing the problems of the city rather than decreasing them if he takes such decisions. If he is truly working for the city’s benefit, he should give more power to BMC officials and help them work for Mumbai,” it added.
Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale had earlier alleged that the CEO post is being created to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra.
“When he (Fadnavis) talks about creating a CEO’s post for Mumbai, it seems that they (BJP) want to separate Mumbai from the rest of the state. They have similar view on Vidarbha. We will oppose this,” Shewale had told.