Despite the overtures, the Shiv Sena and BJP may not be able to hammer out a compromise for the Sena’s inclusion in the state government. Sena sources claim that the BJP’s moves may be aimed at blunting their edge as the principal opposition party in the legislature and creating confusion in their ranks. They claim that the Sena will sit in the opposition at least in the winter session of the assembly in Nagpur. Only homilies, no concrete talks “I do not think that we will be part of the cabinet…at least in this session of the state legislature. The picture is not very pleasant and positive,” said a senior Sena leader. He added that despite union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and state PWD minister Chandrakantdada Patil meeting party president Uddhav Thackeray, and BJP leaders’ homilies to the Sena being their natural ally, no concrete power-sharing proposal had come forth. On its part, the Sena is insisting on the deputy chief minister’s post, home portfolio and 12 ministerial berths. BJP state leaders’ authority questioned “Nothing substantial has happened… The BJP is sending leaders to parley with us. But do they have the powers to take decisions regarding an alliance? The ultimate decision makers in the BJP are Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah,” he said. He said that in case the NCP, which had outwitted the Shiv Sena and declared outside support to the Devendra Fadnavis led BJP government, threatened to pull the rug from under its feet, the BJP could dissolve the assembly and go in for snap polls. Attempts to confuse Sena cadres Sena leaders claim that the BJP’s overtures may be aimed at creating confusion in their ranks and blunting their edge as the opposition. In case the power sharing pact falls through, the BJP can blame the Shiv Sena for it, they said. Will be an aggressive opposition: Sena Sena leaders, especially former leader of the opposition Ramdas Kadam, have been launching no-holds-barred attacks on their counterparts from the BJP, especially revenue minister Eknath Khadse, who are retaliating in kind. On Sunday, the Sena mouthpiece Saamna quoted leader of the opposition Eknath Shinde, saying that the Sena would be an aggressive opposition in the winter session.
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