The second innings of the saffron combine government in Maharashtra will start from Friday, after Shiv Sena leaders formally take oath and join the government.
With the Sena on board, the coalition government will have a strength of 185 legislators in the House of 288 behind them, a first in the past 15 years.
This thumping majority in the House gives chief minister Devendra Fadnavis clear leeway to implement tough decisions and enact legislation like the Right to Services or an amendment to the Lokayukta act that may have been stalled earlier because of shaky numbers.
Sources in the government said this was one of the reasons why Fadnavis insisted on getting the Sena on board.
“The Sena is in the government, but is marginalised because it doesn’t have key portfolios. It is not in a position to pressurise BJP like the NCP did to the Congress even if there is political rivalry. Fadnavis intends to use the full strength of the government to take bold administrative decisions and push the BJP’s agenda,’’ said a senior official.
In the Sena-BJP’s first stint in power in the state from 1995 to 1999, they had a combined strength of 138 legislators, seven short of a simple majority.
The saffron combine government had taken the support of Independents to stay in power for four years. Their roles are now reversed with the BJP taking over the big brother role.
With no deputy CM, Fadnavis also has no one from the Sena overlooking his decisions.