Sena may join ministry in Maharashtra

Sena may join ministry in Maharashtra

The BJP has inched closer to formation of the next government in Maharashtra. While the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena softened its stand and declared that it is ready to support any leader chosen by its estranged ally as the next chief minister, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP decided to abstain when the BJP-headed minority government seeks a vote of confidence.

On Tuesday, BJP observers – union home minister Rajnath Singh and general secretaries J P Nadda, Om Prakash Mathur and Rajiv Pratap Rudy would be in Mumbai and attend the BJP legislature party meeting at 4 pm, which would elect the new leader. The BJP has 122 MLAs and is short of a majority by 23 seats in the 288-member Assembly.

The new leader would later call on Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and stake claim to form the next government. 

With endorsement of top leaders Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, state BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis is clearly the first choice for the chief minister’s post. 

However, senior BJP leaders, including Union Shipping and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, leaders of Opposition in the previous legislature – Eknath Khadse and Vinod Tawde, senior leader Sudhir Mungantiwar and Pankaja Munde-Palve, daughter of the late leader Gopinath Munde, too, are interested in the top job.

The support from Shiv Sena came on Monday in an editorial in Saamna, the party mouthpiece. “On the day of Laxmi Pooja, (Devendra) Fadnavis met (Nitin) Gadkari and took his blessings.

Later Gadkari met the RSS chief (Mohan Bhagwat) and took his blessings. All these blessings are undoubtedly important, but the blessings of the people are the most important. Shiv Sena is ready to support anyone who will take Maharashtra ahead with the blessings of the people,” the editorial said.

BJP MLA dead

In a jolt ahead of government formation, newly-elected BJP MLA from Nanded, Govind Rathod, passed away following cardiac arrest on Sunday night.

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