Mumbai: The BJP on Sunday accused its one-time ally Shiv Sena of committing the 'sin' of abandoning its founder Bal Thackeray's thoughts of aligning with the BJP by going with the Congress and the NCP for the sake of acquiring power in Maharashtra.
Addressing a press conference after attending the BJP legislature party meeting in Mumbai, senior party leader Ashish Shelar said they discussed a strategy to win the impending floor test comfortably.
"The Shiv Sena committed the sin of abandoning Bal Thackeray's thoughts of aligning with the BJP and insulting the popular mandate by going with the Congress and the NCP," he said.
Shelar also said a meeting of Independent MLAs backing the BJP will be held separately. Maharashtra is in a political bind following a coup pulled off by senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar who joined hands with the BJP on Saturday and took oath as deputy chief minister of a BJP-led government alongside Devendra Fadnavis who was sworn in as the CM in the hush-hush ceremony.
Saturday's developments sabotaged the efforts of the Sena, NCP and Congress to form a government in the state. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had distanced the party from his nephew Ajit Pawar's act.
Following the stunning political development, the Sena-NCP-Congress combine had on Saturday approached the supreme court seeking its direction that the BJP-led government proves its majority in a composite floor test within 24 hours.
The apex court on Sunday, however, said the issue would be dealt with only after perusing the two letters- of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari inviting Devendra Fadnavis and of the BJP leader staking his claim to form the government- it had demanded, on Monday.
Against the backdrop of these developments, Shelar said Fadnavis will win the floor trust with a majority in the 288-member Legislative Assembly.
"The legislature party meeting deliberated on strategy to be adopted during the floor test," he said. According to unconfirmed reports and claims made by the NCP, the governor had asked Fadnavis to prove his majority in the Assembly by November 30.
Shelar said the legislature party also passed a resolution congratulating Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar.
"There is an atmosphere of trust and happiness that Fadnavis has assumed the post of chief minister again. Now all the pending development works will be expedited," he said.
The senior BJP leader justified the BJP's move to align with Ajit Pawar, hitherto its rival in the state politics, saying even the Sena has joined hands with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The meeting was attended by most of the 105-elected members of the BJP barring six MLAs. "BJP leaders Sudhir Mungantiwar and Suresh Khadecould not attend the meeting due to some preoccupations while four MLAs could not attend it due to personal reasons," Shelar said.
He also said that Ajit Pawar's whip will be applicable to MLAs of the NCP by virtue of him being the "leader of the NCP legislature party".
Notably, the NCP had on Saturday night sacked Ajit Pawar as the legislative party leader and named Jayant Patil as the temporary replacement.
The party had said that Ajit Pawar cannot issue a whip to the legislators during the floort test.
In the 288-member Legislative Assembly, the BJP has 105 MLAs, the Shiv Sena 56, the NCP 54 and the Congress 44.