The Shiv Sena is most likely to stay away from the Sunday meeting of National Democratic Alliance constituents in Delhi on the eve of the winter session of Parliament beginning on November 18, a party leader said on Saturday.
Sunday, November 17, also happens to be the death anniversary of Sena founder Bal Thackeray.
The Sena, a long-standing constituent of the NDA, fell out with the Bharatiya Janata Party over sharing of the chief minister’s post, a few days after the results of the Maharashtra assembly polls were announced on October 24.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party has finalised a draft Common Minimum Programme with ideological rivals- the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party — to form a possible coalition government.
“No Shiv Sena representative will attend the NDA meeting. This is nearly finalised,” Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut told reporters, after meeting the party president Uddhav Thackeray at the latter’s residence.
The Sena currently has no representation at the Centre, with its lone minister Arvind Sawant putting in his papers on November 11.
Another Sena MP said the party will pay tribute to Bal Thackeray on Sunday, when the NDA members are meeting.
“How come then will we be able to attend that meeting?” the MP asked.
The Sena’s refusal to support its pre-poll ally, the BJP, in forming a government precipitated into a political crisis, which culminated in the imposition of President’s Rule on November 12.
The Sena, which won 56 seats in the October 21 elections, is the second largest bloc in the 288-member assembly after the BJP which won the maximum 105 seats.
The bone of contention between the two parties was the Sena’s insistence for a rotational chief ministership and equal allocation of portfolios, which the BJP was not agreed to.
However, both the BJP and the Sena have not officially announced a break-up of the alliance.
When asked about the Sena’s standing in the NDA in view of the political impasse, Sawant had suggested the alliance was over.
However, officially, both the parties had not announced formal snapping of ties as NDA partners.
On Friday, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had said the firstever government of the Congress (44 MLAs), the NCP (54 MLAs) and the Sena will last a full term.
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