Is Shiv Sena splitting?

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Is the Shiv Sena splitting? This is the hottest question in Maharashtra today. Highly placed sources say that all is not well in Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena with a strong section of the party MLAs demanding that the party continue its alliance with the BJP and not insist on the 50-50 formula. The other section feels that this is the time when the Shiv Sena should assert itself and demand its pound of flesh.

In Maharashtra no party has got an absolute majority even though as a pre-poll alliance, the Shiv Sena-BJP combine is comfortably placed to form the government. However, Shiv Sena insisted that the party be given CM post for two-and-a-half year period, which the BJP has completely rejected. Since then, the Shiv Sena has been trying to cobble up an alliance with Congress and the NCP to keep the BJP out of power. However, the plans no headway as the NCP has rejected the idea completely. It said it will sit in the opposition. Without the support of the NCP, forming a government is impossible.

Amid this imbroglio, several Shiv Sena MLAs are becoming restive. They are worried that the BJP might be forced to impose president rule and keep the assembly in a state of suspended animation . If this happens, the governance would completely pass into the hands of the BJP and the Shiv Sena would be completely kept out of the corridors of power. Then, the BJP might even form a government with the help of the NCP. If that happens, there would be no future left for the Shiv Sena. For five years, it will have to remain in the Opposition. So, a strong section feels that it is better to make peace with the BJP and form a government rather than bring in the president’s rule.  As of now, this section is mute, but it could soon open up. If and when that happens, there would be trouble for the Shiv Sena bosses, say political watchers.
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