The Shiv Sena on Monday said talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over joining the new Maharashtra government are proceeding in the "right direction" and a final decision will be taken before the inaugural session of the state assembly that starts on November 10.
A three-day session of the 288-member Maharashtra assembly will commence on November 10 and, after the MLAs have taken oath, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will seek a vote of confidence in his government on November 12.
"Talks with the BJP are on and moving in the right direction. We will finalise the decision on our role in the new government before the floor test is conducted. Uddhavji will take the final call in this regard," Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai told reporters in Mumbai.
Desai has been holding talks with BJP leaders over the possibility of Shiv Sena joining the Fadnavis government.
According to reports, Sena has demanded the deputy chief minister's post and one-third share in the ministries. If the proposal is accepted, Sena will get around seven to ten ministries.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had on Sunday said his party was "not in a hurry" to join the BJP-led government.
"I have not yet figured out the power-sharing arithmetic. I only wish that things should happen in favour of the common man. I am in no hurry to join the new government, nor are the Shiv Sainiks. We will come out with our decision on supporting the BJP in the next two-three days, please wait till then," he had told reporters in Kolhapur.
Uddhav had on Friday attended the swearing-in of Fadnavis ministry after threatening to boycott the event, reviving hopes of a reunion between the two saffron parties.
If the 63 MLA-strong Sena joins the government, the new dispensation will not have to depend on support from Sharad Pawar's NCP, which has 41 members in the House, for survival of the minority government.
NCP has said it will abstain from voting during the trust vote if Shiv Sena were to sit in the opposition, helping the Fadnavis government sail through the test. BJP had won 122 seats but its strength has come down by one after an MLA died.