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BJP plays hardball with Sena over govt formation

india Updated: Oct 26, 2014 01:13 IST
Dharmendra Jore
Maharashtra elections

A confident BJP on Saturday prepared to form a government on its own in Maharashtra, refusing to accede to the Shiv Sena’s “unreasonable demands” in lieu of its support.

BJP insiders said the party would go ahead with a minority government instead of giving the Sena a big share of cabinet berths and important departments.

BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the 288-member Assembly with 122 seats, has already been offered outside support by the 41-member NCP. It also has the support of another MLA. With 63 MLAs, the Sena is the second largest party in the house.

The Sena had earlier sought 14 berths but later scaled down its demand to 10. However, the BJP is not willing to give Sena more than 5 berths, the sources added.

The new government is likely to be sworn in at the Wankhede Stadium on October 29.

State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis, who is likely to be the next chief minister, held a meeting with senior leader Vinod Tawde and national joint general secretary V Satish on Saturday ahead of their meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mumbai.

They are expected to request Modi to let them go ahead without Sena. Union home minister Rajnath Singh is expected to visit the city on Monday for the electing the legislature party leader.

Amidst the talks of government formation, senior BJP leader and union transport minister Nitin Gadkari met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the Sangh headquarters at Nagpur on Saturday morning.

Gadkari met Bhagwat a day after Fadnavis had called on the RSS chief.

Though Fadnavis is seen as the front-runner for the CM’s post, over 40 party MLAs from the Vidarbha region are backing Gadkari for the top job.

When asked about the meeting, Gadkari said they discussed many important issues barring Maharashtra politics and the issue of chief ministership.

Read: Gadkari meets RSS chief, says no politics discussed