BJP, Sena eye to woo Independents, smaller parties

In the race against time to form the government, the BJP and the Shiv Sena are trying to improve their bargaining power by securing support from smaller parties and Independents. Photo/PTI

In the race against time to form the government, the BJP and the Shiv Sena are trying to improve their bargaining power by securing support from smaller parties and Independents. 

In the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, the magic number to form the government is 145 and neither the BJP (105) nor the Shiv Sena (56) is in a position to form the government on its own strength. 

But both parties are in touch with smaller parties and Independents, which include rebels who won polls. 

The matter is being handled directly by the BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, informed sources told DH

The strength of smaller parties and independents adds up to 29.

The 13 independents are: Manjula Gavit (Sakri), Chandrakant Nimba Patil (Muktainagar), Ravi Rana (Badnera), Ashish Jaiswal (Ramtek), Narendra Bhondekar (Bhandara), Vinod Agrawal (Gondia), Kishor Jorgewar (Chandrapur), Geeta B. Jain (Mira-Bhayandar), Mahesh Baldi (Uran), Sanjay Shinde (Karmala), Rajendra Raut (Barshi), Prakashanna Awade (Ichalkaranji) and Rajendra Patil Yadravkar (Shirol).

The Shiv Sena has secured the support of two Independent MLAs - Jaiswal and Bhondekar and two members of Prahar Janshakti Party - its founder Bachchu Kadu (Achalpur) and Rajkumar Patel (Melghat).

The BJP too has secured the support of over half a dozen MLAs including rebel Geeta Jain (Mira-Bhayandar) who was among the first to meet Fadnavis. Besides, Mahesh Baldi, MLA from Uran constituency and Gondia MLA Vinod Agrawal declared their support to the BJP under the leadership of Fadnavis. Independent MLA from Badnera, Ravi Rana of the Yuva Swabhiman Party and the Jan Surajya Shakti's Vinay Kore had extended support to the BJP.

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