A poster was also put up outside Matoshree, reading "CM Maharashtra only Aaditya Thackeray".
Taking a cue from Uddhav Thackeray's renewed assertion for equal sharing of power with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), newly-elected Shiv Sena MLAs demanded that both the parties run the Maharastra government for two and a half years each.
They have further demanded that Aaditya Thackeray be made the state chief minister in the next government.
"In our meeting, it was decided that like Amit Shah had promised 50-50 formula before Lok Sabha polls. Similarly, both allies should get a chance to run the state government for 2.5 years each," Thane City Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik was quoted by news agency ANI.
He further said that the MLAs want to see Aaditya Thackeray as the Maharashtra CM. "We want to see Aaditya Thackeray as the next chief minister. But Uddhavji will take the final decision," said Sarnaik.
He was responding to a question on whether Sena will seek the help of the Congress-NCP combine to install its own chief minister in place of incumbent Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP.
The results of recently-concluded polls saw the ruling BJP losing 17 seats from its previous tally of 122, a development that political observers believe has increased the bargaining power of the Thackeray-led party whose tally too came down to 56 seats from 63 in 2014.
Sarnaik and other elected MLAs assembled at Matoshree, the suburban residence of the Thackerays, to attend a party meeting on October 26.A poster was also put up outside Matoshree, reading "CM Maharashtra only Aaditya Thackeray".
Mumbai: Poster put up outside Matoshree(Thackeray residence) reads 'CM Maharashtra only Aditya Thackeray' pic.twitter.com/mbWaLq1GSu
— ANI (@ANI) October 26, 2019
Another MLA Abdul Sattar, who defected to the Sena from the Congress ahead of polls, also endorsed Sarnaik's view. "Uddhavji will take the final call on this," said Sattar, once considered a close aide of former chief minister Ashok Chavan.
In the elections, results for which were announced on October 24, the BJP won 105 seats and the Sena 56 while the NCP and the Congress bagged 54 and 44 seats, respectively.
The verdict came as a shocker for the BJP which had set itself a higher target to secure the absolute majority on its own. The changed scenario has emboldened the Sena which knows well that it is in a position to call shots and endorse Aaditya as the CM face.
Aaditya, 29, became the first Thackeray since the party was founded in the 1960s to enter the poll fray and win. He won from Worli seat in Mumbai, a Sena pocket borough.
On the day of the verdict, Thackeray hardened Sena's stand by reminding the BJP of the 50:50 formula "agreed upon" between BJP president Amit Shah, Thackeray and Fadnavis ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
According to sources, the formula entails rotational chief ministership between the Sena and the BJP and the equal sharing of Cabinet berths.
"I contested less number of seats for Lok Sabha and assembly elections. I cannot accommodate the BJP every time. I want to remind the BJP the formula which was worked out in the presence of Amit Shah," Thackeray had said.
The speculation about an "interesting possibility" started doing rounds on the day of the poll verdict when former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan of the Congress said the party should consider all options to keep the BJP out of power.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar had ruled out such a possibility to back the Sena. Thackeray had said the popular mandate to rule was given to the BJP and his party.
State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat too ruled out any truck with the Sena to keep the BJP at bay. However, he cryptically said that if the Sena comes with a proposal, Congress will seek the advice of its high-command.
The Sena has been rooting for Aaditya as the next chief minister or deputy chief minister of the state. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who also holds the BJP chief's post, have repeatedly said that Fadnavis will continue to be at the helm.
On October 25, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut posted a cartoon on his verified Twitter account to take a dig at the BJP. The cartoon, shows a tiger (Shiv Sena emblem) wearing a clock locket (NCP's poll symbol) sniffing a lotus (BJP's poll symbol).(With inputs from PTI)LIVE NOW... Video series on How to Double Your Monthly Income... where Rahul Shah, Ex-Swiss Investment Banker and one of India's leading experts on wealth building, reveals his secret strategies for the first time ever. Register here to watch it for FREE.