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Shiv Sena Chief Calls Off Meeting With BJP

Shiv Sena Chief Calls Off Meeting With BJP

-Fadnavis Denies Sharing Of CM's Post

Mumbai: Hours after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis denied that the Shiv Sena had been assured of the chief minister's post for two-and-a-half years as part of a power-sharing "formula", Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday cancelled his party's meeting with the BJP on formation of the next government. The development might potentially worsen the already strained relationship between the two parties.

A senior Sena leader said the meeting with the BJP, scheduled to be held here at 4 pm, was cancelled by Thackeray after Fadnavis's statement on sharing of power. It was to be attended by Union minister Prakash Javadekar and senior Sena leaders. "Union minister Prakash Javdekar and party leader Bhupendra Yadav were supposed to attend the meeting to start discussions on formation of the next government from the BJP side, while the Sena would have been represented by Subhash Desai and Sanjay Raut," the Sena leader said.

The development came within hours of Fadnavis' press briefing in which he denied that the Sena was ever promised the chief minister's post for two-and-a-half years when the alliance was formalised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Thackeray has been insisting that the 50:50 formula on sharing of power was "agreed upon" between himself, BJP chief Amit Shah and Fadnavis ahead of the Lok Sabha polls this year. The Sena had demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing "equal formula for sharing of power" before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state.

Training guns at Fadnavis, Raut said everybody was aware about the deal between two parties. "If he is saying the 50-50 formula was never discussed, then I think we need to change the definition of truth. What was discussed is known by all. The media was there," he said. The BJP and the Sena, with 105 and 56 seats respectively in the new Assembly, are locked in a bitter tussle over sharing of power.

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