The Shiv Sena’s willingness to participate in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) minority government has evoked a mixed feeling in the ruling camp.
While the party in general will be happy about getting its minority government stabilised in the long term, BJP aspirants for the ministerial berths are disappointed because 11-12 berths in the 43-member team will go to Sena legislators.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis travelled to New Delhi on Tuesday to apprise party president Amit Shah of deliberations held with the Sena in the past two days. He is said to have prepared a list of BJP ministers-elect for a Cabinet expansion with or without the Sena. He said the expansion will happen only after three-day mourning, now being observed for former CM late AR Antulay.
The strength of the state council of ministers, including the CM, has to be 43 under the legal provision. And with a 10-member team, including him, already in place, Fadnavis has the tough task of keeping a regional and social balance while picking new ministers from among 111 legislators. Later this week, the BJP is expected to induct at least 10-12 ministers. The Sena will pick its candidates.
A BJP legislator said aspirants like him will have their chances trimmed further if the four pre-poll allies were given berths in the expansion. BJP insiders said not all the remaining 33 seats will be filled in the cabinet expansion. “Some ministers from the BJP and Sena will be inducted early next year, most possible before the budget session,” said a senior leader, requesting anonymity.