Taasir English News Network | Uploaded on 11-Nov-2019
NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena’s only minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Arvind Sawant, resigned this morning ahead of the party’s severing of ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) following a feud over government formation in Maharashtra. The Sena’s decision to pull out its only minister in the central government meets a key condition of Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to discuss any alliance in Maharashtra. After weeks of turmoil, the state appeared to tilt towards a Shiv Sena-led government with the NCP calling a meeting of its MLAs and the Congress’s top leadership in Delhi discussing its options.
Here’s your ten-point cheatsheet on this big story:
- “Shiv Sena’s side is the truth. Why stay in the government in Delhi in such a false environment? That is why I am resigning as Union Minister,” tweeted Arvind Sawant, who was Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
- The Shiv Sena was on Sunday invited by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to indicate “willingness and ability” to form government in the state after the BJP said it would not stake claim to power. The Sena has to show numbers in its favour by Monday evening and it needs the support of the NCP and the Congress to do so.
- Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is expected to reach out to Sharad Pawar today. Uddhav Thackeray is tipped to be Chief Minister, with an NCP deputy, in a formula that has been in circulation over the weekend.
- The NCP had asked the Sena to quit the NDA for any possibility of an alliance between the rivals to come into play. Sharad Pawar held a meeting of the NCP core committee after the rapid developments since Sunday. “Whatever decision is to be taken will be taken only after discussions with the Congress,” said Mr Pawar before the meeting.
- Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had earlier ruled out supporting the Shiv Sena. But under pressure from its Maharashtra leaders, the party seems to be wavering. The Congress Working Committee, the party’s top decision-making body, is meeting to discuss whether to back a Sena government from outside or as part of it.
- Caretaker Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP resigned on Friday. On Saturday, as the term of the Maharashtra legislative assembly ended without any resolution, Governor Koshyari invited the BJP to form government. “If the Shiv Sena wants to insult the mandate of the people and form government with the support of the NCP and Congress, they have our best wishes,” the BJP said after informing the Governor that it would not stake claim to power.
- The BJP and the Sena, long-term allies for more than 25 years, won a majority together in last month’s Maharashtra elections. The BJP won 105 seats and the Sena 56, which placed them comfortably ahead of the majority mark of 145 in the 288-member assembly.
- However, the Sena refused to form government with the BJP without an agreement, in writing, that it would have the chief minister’s post for half the term and an equal share in ministries, in what it called a “50:50” deal discussed with BJP chief Amit Shah. As Devendra Fadnavis denied any such deal, the Sena’s attacks on the BJP became more and more vitriolic.
- In an editorial in Saamana, the party mouthpiece, the Sena had said last week: “With 54 MLAs of NCP, 44 Cong MLAs and few independents, we can reach majority. The Sena can present its own Chief Minister and for that, three parties with independent ideology should form policies which are acceptable to all”.
- After the Governor’s invite, the Sena moved its legislators to a resort in Madh Island, two hours away from Mumbai. “We believe that the BJP will try all means to induce our MLAs,” said Sanjay Raut.