Mumbai / Was BJP-PDP's alliance love jihad: Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut

Free Press Journal : Nov 11, 2019, 05:56 PM

Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said that his party is working towards a common minimum programme (CMP) with NCP and Congress in a bid to form a coalition government in Maharashtra.

"Sharad Pawar and Congress want that we should form the government which should run on a common minimum programme (CMP). There is a need for it today. We are working towards it," Raut told reporters here.

"Had the governor given us more time, it would have been easy (to get the numbers). But we have been given little time. Those who have fewer seats should be given more time. But we don't have any complaints. We respect the governor's order," he said.

Raut further said: "Congress, NCP, and other parties were saying that they do not want a BJP chief minister in Maharashtra. Now, it is time to do what they were saying. Shiv Sena has come forward. I hope that we all ready to give a stable government in Maharashtra."

NCP has 54 MLAs while its alliance partner Congress has 44. If Shiv Sena, which had 56 legislators, gets the support of NCP and Congress, it will easily cross the majority mark of 145 in 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.

When asked about contradictory ideologies of the parties, the Shiv Sena leader cited the example of BJP and People's Democratic Party (PDP) that came together to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir despite their differences.

"Was the ideology of BJP and Mehbooba Mufti alike? Was it love-jihad? Congress and NCP are not from Pakistan or Afghanistan. All parties have made a contribution to the country.

There can be differences on some issues. Shiv Sena also had differences with BJP," he said. Raut also held BJP responsible for the current situation despite the alliance getting a majority.

"BJP told the governor that they can't form the government. They said that Shiv Sena is not ready to support us, so we will sit in opposition. This is their ego and an insult to the people.

They are ready to sit in the opposition but are not ready to accept the rotational chief ministers' formula," he said.

"They told the governor that Shiv Sena is not ready to come along with us. But they have not even asked us about it. Our relations have just become a formality," he added.

The NDA alliance received a majority in Maharashtra after the BJP won 105 and Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.

Commenting on the resignation of Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant from the Union Cabinet, Raut said that the decision was taken by party chief Uddhav Thackeray.

"Last night Uddhav Thackeray asked Arvind Sawant to resign. We are not responsible for whatever is happening today. What relations do we have when they are not even ready to talk to us and follow the agreement we had before the alliance?" he said.