Shiv Sena chief Uddhav said the decision on the next Maharashtra chief minister will be taken after the assembly election results are announced on October 24 while responding to questions about his promise to install a Sena leader as the chief minister of the state one day.
Uddhav was addressing a press meet with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai on Friday-the last day of filing nomination for October 21 polls.
Uddhav’s son Aaditya Thackeray is making his electoral debut from Worli and also seen as Sena’s possible candidate for the Deputy CM’s post–should he win and the alliance returns to power– however, the party has not revealed its stance on the matter.
Devendra Fadnavis, who filed his nomination from Nagpur South West seat on Friday allayed apprehensions about any major differences between the allies and said the two parties were tied with the ‘chord of Hindutva’.
His sentiment was echoed by Uddhav, who described the relationship between the two parties like that of ‘brothers’.
‘BJP and Shiv Sena’s differences are like differences between brothers and they always come back together, this is what people in Maharashtra want,’ Uddhav said.
Fadnavis also said denial of tickets to four senior leaders of the party was ‘routine’ and that their responsibility has been given to ‘others’. ‘Ticket distribution recognized hard work of deserving candidates,’ he said.
Vinod Tawde, Prakash Mehta and Eknath Khadse and Raj Purohit were dropped from the final list of seven candidates released by the party on Friday.
Tawde was replaced by Sunil Rane for Borivali seat, Mehta was replaced by Parag Shah for Ghatkopar East and Khadse was replaced by daughter Rohini who will contest from Muktainagar.
It was announced that Shiv Sena will contest on 124 seats out of the 288 assembly seats going to polls in Maharashtra, the BJP will contest 150 and the remaining 14 seats will go to smaller allies.
Explaining the decision to contest fewer seats than the BJP, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna said that the BJP had become a big national party.
The BJP and the Sena, which formed an alliance in 1989, always had an understanding that the former would contest a larger number of Lok Sabha seats, while the latter would get the maximum number of Assembly seats to contest.
The equation was disturbed after the ‘Modi wave’ catapulted the BJP at the Centre with full majority in May 2014. Subsequently, the BJP went into Assembly elections in Maharashtra without an alliance with the Sena and emerged as the single largest party, with 122 of the 288 seats in October 2014. The Sena managed to win 63 seats.
Fadnavis said solving Maharashtra’s drought problem for once and for all was the next priority.
‘Tackling Drought situation in Maharashtra will be one of the main focus area this time, we want to make Maharashtra drought-free and take water to every farmer in the nook and crannies of water-parched areas of the state, Fadnavis said.