The Shiv Sena might have won seven seats less than it did in 2014, but Uddhav Thackeray isn’t complaining. The BJP’s tally of 105 seats, 40 short of a simple majority in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, has put him in a position to pay back the BJP for the raw treatment he received at its hands over the past five years.
The first thing the Sena supremo did after the assembly poll result came in on October 23 was to announce that his party would not form the government with the BJP till the latter finalised the power-sharing formula. He insisted that BJP president and home minister Amit Shah had promised the Sena an equal share of power. Sena leaders, including Thackeray’s close confidant Anil Desai, have laboured the point that an equal share means that the allies should both have equal time (two-and-a-half years) in the chief minister’s chair.
The BJP, however, is likely to keep the CM’s post. The Sena will instead likely settle for important portfolios such as revenue, excise and the public works department. Thackeray has also demanded two additional berths for his party in the Union cabinet. The BJP has already agreed to spare two seats for the Sena in the legislative council, but Thackeray wants two additional seats as well as the post of Governor for his party.
There are two theories suggesting why Thackeray will settle for plum portfolios. First, to become chief minister, he will need the backing of the Congress and