45 Sena MLAs keen to form government with BJP, says BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Kakade

first_imgAmid the tension between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena over power-sharing, the BJP’s Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Sanjay Kakade has claimed that nearly 45 of the 56 newly-elected Shiv Sena Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in Maharashtra were keen on joining hands with the BJP in a bid to expedite the process of government formation.“Just like within the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), there is a group which holds leaders like Chhagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patil or Ajit Pawar in high regard, there are sections within the Sena who have high regard for many of their leaders, who I will not name… These leaders are in touch with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and are extremely keen on forming a government with the BJP as quickly as possible,” said Mr. Kakade, a Pune-based realtor. He also said the MLAs, anxious to form the new government soon, had allegedly urged the chief minister to settle (power-sharing) issues with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray soon and form the government. “At least 45 of the 56 newly-elected Sena MLAs are directly and clearly stating that they want to go along with the BJP. They do not wish to go anywhere else,” Mr. Kakade said.Ratnagiri MLA incensedMr. Kakade’s statement has incensed the senior Sena leader and MLA from Ratnagiri, Uday Samant, who alleged that the BJP MP was deliberately attempting to ‘defame’ his party’s legislators with such remarks. Mr. Samant said Mr. Kakade’s remarks on the Sena MLAs were “unfortunate”, and brought out Mr. Kakade’s political ineptness. “The allegiance of the Shiv Sena’s MLAs is aligned with [late Sena founder] Bal Thackeray’s thinking and Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership. So, instead of alleging that Sena MLAs are in touch with the Chief Minister, he ought to stick to one party and prove his allegiance there,” Mr. Samant said. “He is doing it for his own political ends in the hope that he will gain something in the event Mr. Fadnavis becomes chief minister again.”A known party-hopper and wheeler-dealer, Mr. Kakade was earlier with Sharad Pawar’s NCP before being elected as an Independent to the Upper House and switching allegiances with the BJP. He is believed to have played a vital role in engineering the saffron party’s victory in the Pune civic polls in February 2017.In March this year, prior to the Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Kakade had announced that he would soon be entering the Congress after being denied a ticket for the Pune Lok Sabha seat. However, the BJP MP’s announcement was not taken too kindly by Congress loyalists in Pune, most of whom were opposed to Mr. Kakade’s induction in the party. Mr. Kakade chose to remain in the BJP after learning that there was no guarantee that he would be get a Congress ticket to contest from Pune Lok Sabha constituency.His disenchantment with the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha election stemmed from the allegedly ‘shoddy’ treatment meted out to him by the then Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat and the erstwhile BJP State president Raosaheb Danve.In December 2017, Mr. Kakade had created a flutter after he predicted a dismal showing by the BJP in the Gujarat elections.last_img