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BJP-Shiv Sena cracks, a sign of power imbalance

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There should not have been any hiccups in the formation of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena Maha Yuti coalition government after the Maharashtra Assembly election results. The pre-poll alliance of the BJP-Shiv Sena with its strength of 161 in the 288-member Assembly should have formed its third, and second successive, government without much ado. The demand of the Shiv Sena that the chief minister’s post should be rotated has come as a rude reminder that political games are quite unpredictable. The moot point in the unexpected crisis in post-poll Maharashtra is not the imposition of President’s Rule, apparently on the recommendation of governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, but the break between the two right-wing parties.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s demand for a share in the chief ministerial term is, on the face of it, unreasonable. The Sena does not have the numbers to back the demand. Mr Thackeray says that there was a pre-poll agreement on the issue, and the BJP’s weak denial makes it curiouser. It can only be speculated that the BJP might have nodded in passing about the arrangement because the party, despite the hyperbolic swagger of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister-cum-party president Amit Shah and their reliance on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir as the poll talisman, there must have been apprehensions that the party may not cross the winning line on its own. Of course, these closed-door parleys and arrangements can’t be verified because they........

© The Asian Age