Former Maharashtra minister and senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse on Thursday said whatever had been “decided” between the BJP and the Shiv Sena ahead of the assembly polls should be made public.
The Shiv Sena has claimed top leaders of the party and the BJP had “agreed” on sharing the chief minister’s post on a rotational basis and 50:50 distribution of portfolio ahead of the October 21 assembly polls in the state.
The BJP has, however, denied any such arrangement with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party and has insisted Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will continue to hold the post for full term.
Khadse, speaking to reporters in Jalgaon, his home district in North Maharashtra, said whatever had been “decided” between the saffron allies in the past should be made public for better understanding of the power-sharing issue.
The BJP denied assembly election ticket to Khadse and instead fielded his daughter from their family seat of Muktainagar in Jalgaon district, but she lost to Shiv Sena rebel Chandrakant Patil.
“Sena leaders have been saying something was promised to them ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. In that case, whatever was decided should be brought to forefront and discussed,” said Khadse, whose critical remarks have put the BJP on back foot on several occasions in the recent past.
Asked about the tussle between the saffron allies and delay in government formation even two weeks after poll results, the veteran politician said, I am no longer senior enough to mediate between the BJP and the Sena.” Khadse, once seen as No. 2 in Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s cabinet, has been largely sidelined in the state BJP.
A multiple-time MLA, Khadse had resigned from the Fadnavis cabinet in June 2016 after allegations of impropriety surfaced against him in a land deal in Pune. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena are locked in a tug-of-war over the issue of the chief minister’s post, resulting in a stalemate in government formation.
In the polls, the BJP won 105 seats, the Shiv Sena-56, the NCP-54 and the Congress 44 in the 288-member house where the simple majority mark is 145.