Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday refused to comment on the political logjam in Maharashtra, saying politics was as unpredictable as cricket, NDTV reported.
“Anything can happen in cricket and politics,” he said at a press conference. “Sometimes you feel you are losing the match, but the result is exactly the opposite.” The minister said he related more to politics in Delhi than Maharashtra.
Maharashtra is currently under President’s Rule. The deadlock was a result of the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s failure to come to an agreement on government formation. While the Shiv Sena demanded a power-sharing agreement, including an assurance that it would get the chief minister’s post for half of the five-year term, the BJP flatly refused to acquiesce to the demand. This led to the collapse of their decades-old alliance. Gadkari’s remarks came a day after BJP President Amit Shah said the Uddhav Thackeray-led party had made demands that were not acceptable.
The Shiv Sena has accused Shah of keeping Narendra Modi in the dark about the promise made to it about sharing power, and said the state would have been spared the current turmoil had the Union home minister been upfront with the prime minister.
The Sena is now trying to strike up an alliance with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, but they have not yet worked out a common minimum programme. The three parties on Thursday said a tie-up seemed imminent, Hindustan Times reported. “We have prepared the draft of the CMP,” said Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena’s legislative unit chief. “We will now send this to heads of three parties. They will finalise it.”
Gadkari refused to predict which party would come to power. “This is an appropriate question to the wrong person,” he said with a smile.
Meanwhile, Hindu Mahasabha leader Pramod Pandit Joshi has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking declaration of a post-poll alliance between the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party as “fraud” on the electorate, PTI reported. He has accused the change in the Sena’s stand as “nothing but betrayal of people trust reposed in the NDA”.
The Public Interest Litigation urged the top court to direct the Centre and the state to refrain from appointing a chief minister from any alliance between the three parties. “The act of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are unethical and contrary to the constitutional scheme for staking claim to form government without legitimate alliance of political parties, which is far from the concept of the popular government,” said the petitioner.
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