National

Sena Unhappy With BJP Offer, Leader Asked to Return From Airport: Sources

New Delhi, Nov 9:  As an array of politicians took their oaths to join the Prime Minister's Council of Ministers, a Shiv Sena leader who had landed in Delhi was asked to skip the ceremony and catch a flight back to Mumbai.
 
Anil Desai from the Shiv Sena was reportedly to be sworn in as a Minister of State - not acceptable to his party chief Uddhav Thackeray, who wanted a spot in cabinet for his party. The BJP chose to give that place to Suresh Prabhu, technically a member of the Sena but seen as closer to the Prime Minister's party. Mr Thackeray's reported objections to Mr Prabhu's promotion were ignored by the BJP, and will serve as a new irritant for the feuding parties.
 
Since the BJP won the most seats in last month's election in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena has been waiting to join the government.

The BJP does not have a majority; Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will take a trust vote on Wednesday. But the BJP has refused to add the Sena to the state government before then - one of many points that has greatly rankled Mr Thackeray. Allowing the BJP considerable comfort is Sharad Pawar, who has said his party will abstain in the trust vote, allowing Mr Fadnavis to clear it.

Mr Thackeray has reportedly told the BJP today that if it utilises Mr Pawar's support, any chance of a reunion with the Sena is over.
 
The BJP knows that Mr Pawar has earned his reputation as an undependable ally, so a partnership with the Sena is  important strategically.  However, it does not want to cede to what it feels are exaggerated claims by Mr Thackeray for posts like Deputy Chief Minister and an important portfolio like Home or Finance for his party.

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