Shiv Sena softens stand, says will adhere to coalition dharma

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Amid speculations regarding probable political permutations and combinations vis-a-vis formation of the next government in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena on Saturday said it would adhere to the “coalition dharma”, a remark being viewed as softening of its stand towards the BJP.

The Sena and the BJP are locked in a battle of nerves over sharing of power.

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Both the parties, who were partners in the outgoing government, have not even started formal discussions even though the tenure of the current Legislative Assembly ends on November 8.

“The Sena contested the assembly elections in an alliance and we would adhere to the coalition dharma till the last moment,” Sena leader Sanjay Raut told reporters.

He also welcomed Congress leader Hussain Dalwai’s move to write a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi recommending support for the Uddhav Thackeray-led party in forming the new government.

Interestingly, Raut said on Friday the Sena can get desired numbers to form a stable government.

“Considering the prevailing political situation in the state, every one is talking to each other except the Sena and the BJP. The Sena did not stop talks of government formation..

the talks never began,” he said.

Raut also appeared to play down his recent meeting with NCP president Sharad Pawar amid speculation that a new political equation might emerge in the state to keep BJP away from power.

“There are several issues concerning Maharashtra on which leaders of different political parties talk to each other,” he said.

“Were PDP and BJP in Kashmir and TDP and BJP in Andhra Pradesh of similar ideology?” he questionned.

When asked about a speculation that Devendra Fadnavis will take oath as Chief Minister for a second term early next week, Raut pointed out that the governor invites the single largest party to form the government as per convention.

“What is important for government formation is the support of 145 MLAs (in the 288-member House). Whosoever has this number, we wish them well,” he said.