The Shiv Sena on Friday expressed displeasure after reports claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party will offer the deputy speaker’s post in the Lok Sabha to Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress. In an article in the party’s mouthpiece, Saamna, Sena asked why the saffron party was pursuing Reddy’s party despite having enough seats in the Lok Sabha.
“There is a clear majority in the Lok Sabha and when the Shiv Sena is along with them [BJP], then what is the need to beseech anybody else?” the party asked in the article. “It is being said that Jagan’s YSR Congress has been given the ‘offer’ of the deputy speaker post but Jagan has put forward some conditions before the BJP. What is the need to be after Jagan?” It further said that someone similar to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla should be selected from the National Democratic Alliance.
Although the saffron party has denied making a formal proposal the YSR Congress, it may have approached it with an offer, The Hindustan Times quoted unidentified officials as saying. The Sena has already staked claim over the deputy speaker’s post for one of its MPs since it is the second largest party with 18 members in the NDA.
On Friday, the Sena praised Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for saying that the two parties will follow the power-sharing agreement. Fadnavis had said on Wednesday that the alliance will get a massive victory in the upcoming state Assembly elections, and that the decision over the posts of chief minister and deputy chief minister was secondary.
However, the Sena is reportedly upset with the BJP for giving it a low-profile Cabinet berth. Earlier this month, party chief Uddhav Thackeray had said that the deputy speaker’s post was a rightful claim. “Expressing a wish or demanding something which is our right does not mean that we are upset [with the BJP],” he had said.
On June 6, Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut had said that the demand had been passed onto the BJP. The other point of conflict between the two parties is over the chief minister’s post after the Maharashtra Assembly.