Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said his party would declare its next strategy once no one else is able to form government in Maharashtra, and asserted politics was not a trade for his party.
Without taking name of any individual or party, he said the bubble of being “invincible” has burst and the arrogance of “buying” a politician to form govt will no longer work in the state.
The Shiv Sena “will step in” if no one forms government, Raut told media here. He also welcomed the decision of governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to invite the BJP to form government in the state.
“I welcome the governor's decision to invite the BJP. The single largest party had to be called. We fail to understand why the BJP did not stake claim in 24 hours (after results) if it was confident that it had the majority,” the Rajya Sabha member said.
“I don’t think the BJP has enough strength to stake claim for government formation...I am told the governor has asked BJP to inform him about its decision by 8 pm on November 11,” he said.
On the Sena’s future course of action, he said, “Let the picture be clear on the first step by governor. The Shiv Sena will declare its strategy if no one else is able to form the government.”
Asked if Sena has entered into a ‘deal’ with the Congress and NCP, Raut said, "We are not traders to make deals. Politics is not a trade for the Shiv Sena. 'Profit' and 'loss' (words) are not in our dictionary."
He also dismissed the possibility of legislators switching sides. “I don’t think MLAs of any party would defect. If anyone tries to split another party for government formation, I don’t think it will work this time,” he said.
“The arrogance of buying any politician and form a government will no longer work in this state. The bubble of being invincible has burst,” Raut said.
On posters put up by Sena workers, demanding he be made the CM, Raut said, “Uddhav Thackeray is the Shiv Sena leader and he will take an appropriate decision at the right time. He has already said he will make a Shiv Sainik the CM.”
When a reporter pointed out the Sena was not criticising the opposition NCP in the wake of a possible alliance between the two parties, Raut said, “We have not criticised the BJP either. The election campaign is over and things said during the campaign are irrelevant.”
On if the Congress will support the Shiv Sena to form govt, Raut said the Sonia Gandhi-led party is "not enemy of Maharashtra". “If Congress leaders have taken any decision to ensure a stable govt, we welcome it,” he said.
Every party has differences with the other party. Like, the Sena and BJP differ on the issue of border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka over Belagavi (Belgaum) district, Raut said.
“We always expected a strong stand of the BJP on Belagavi district with its counterpart (BJP) in the Karnataka government. At the same time, there are some leaders in the Congress and NCP who identify themselves with the Sena's stand on this border dispute issue," he said.
Raut also made a reference to German dictator Adolf Hitler. Again, without naming Fadnavis, Raut said, "When threats and other ploys don't work, it is time to accept that Hitler is dead and the looming clouds of slavery have disappeared."
In his column ‘Rokhthok’ in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, he said Fadnavis, despite being blessed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to become chief minister for the second time, has not been able to assume the top post.