As BJP prepared for the inauguration of its first government in Maharashtra under Devendra Fadnavis on Friday, its estranged partner Shiv Sena said it would announce its decision on whether it will be part of the BJP-led ministry on Thursday.
“We met Uddhav Thackeray and discussed the future course of action with him. The wait is over now, just one more day. We will announce our decision tomorrow,” Sena MP Sanjay Raut told reporters after Sena chief Thackeray held several rounds of talks with top party leaders during the day.
Also present in the huddle were senior Sena leaders Liladhar Dahake, Manohar Joshi, Diwakar Raote, Ramdas Kadam, Gajanan Kirtikar and Subhash Desai.
Sena sources said Uddhav himself will announce the party’s ‘final stand’.
“Discussions are on within the party. Uddhavji will take a final call (on whether to join the BJP-led ministry),” Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe told reporters earlier in the day outside Uddhav’s residence ‘Matoshree’.
Both BJP and Shiv Sena leaders had made conciliatory noises after Fadnavis, backed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, was elected leader of the Legislature Party.
Talks between the two saffron parties for a tie-up were not formally on and sources in BJP had said negotiations will resume only after the new government was sworn in.
A top central BJP leader, when asked if there was any breakthrough in discussions with Sena on the latter’s joining the government, said talks would resume only after the oath- taking ceremony on October 31.
Both parties had yesterday shown signs of a rapprochement with Shiv Sena MP and spokesman Sanjay Raut saying, “The blood group of BJP and Shiv Sena is the same.” He had rubbished media reports that Sena was demanding deputy chief minister’s post and some key portfolios as pre-condition for a reunion between the former saffron allies.