Mumbai: Amid tussle with the BJP over government formation in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena on Saturday said that the “President’s rule threat” by the BJP minister Sudhir Mungantiwar was an ‘insult’ to the state and people’s mandate.
On Friday, Finance Minister and BJP leader Mungantiwar had said that Maharashtra "may head for President's rule if the new government in the state is not in place by November 7".
The tenure of the existing Legislative Assembly in Maharashtra ends on November 8. In his remarks, Mungatiwar said: "A new government will have to be in place within the stipulated time, or else the President will have to intervene".
Upset with the BJP for not accepting its demand for rotational chief ministership and a "50:50" deal for power sharing, the Shiv Sena in an editorial in party's mouthpiece 'Saamana' stated that "Mungantiwar's statements were a proof of the toxicity brewing with the party (BJP) and in his mind."
Attacking Mungantiwar, the Finance minister in the outgoing government, Sena said he issued the "threat" of imposing the President's rule, as other "intimidation tactics" like using investigating agencies for settling political scores have fallen flat in Maharashtra.
"What the common people have to make out of the threat given by Mungantiwar? Is that supposed to mean that President of India is in your (BJP's) pocket or that the seal of the President is lying in the office of the BJP in Maharashtra? Are these people trying to convey that the BJP could impose the President's rule in Maharashtra using that seal in the event of that party not able to form its government?" the Sena questioned in the edit in the party mouthpiece "Saamana".
The Marathi editorial titled "Insult to Maharashtra, Is President in your pocket?" described Mungantiwar's comments "undemocratic and unconstitutional."
"The statement shows the lack of knowledge about the Constitution and the rule of law. This threat might be a move to sidestep the established norms and get things done the way one wants. This statement is an insult to the mandate of the people," the party said.
"The President is the supreme authority in the Constitution. It is not about individual but the country. The country is not in anybody's pocket," the editorial said. The Sena also said it should not be blamed for the present impasse over formation of the government. "There is no morality left in public life," it said.
Last week, the BJP won 105 of the state's 288 seats and the Sena finished with 56 in the state election. Together, they are comfortably past the 145-majority mark. Sharad Pawar's NCP placed third in the Maharashtra election with 54 seats, just two behind the Shiv Sena. The Congress won 44.
(With PTI inputs)