Breakthrough expected in BJP-Sena stalemate

Sources from both parties said back channel talks are on between the two old but often-feuding Hindutva allies and a breakthrough is expected. (PTI File Photo)

A resolution to the BJP-Shiv Sena stalemate over government formation in Maharashtra is expected and a new dispensation may take office before the term of the outgoing assembly ends on November 9, sources said on Wednesday.

Sources from both parties said back channel talks are on between the two old but often-feuding Hindutva allies and a breakthrough is expected.

"We expect a breakthrough. If all goes well we can have a government by November 9," a source, who did not wish to be identified, said.

However, it was not clear as to what will be the concession offered by the BJP to the Sena if the Uddhav Thackeray-led party decides to bury the hatchet.

A senior BJP functionary asserted the party will not compromise on the post of chief minister.

The BJP and the Sena are locked in a standoff over the post of chief minister in new government and sharing of ministerial portfolios.

In the recent assembly polls, the BJP emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats in the 288-member House. The Sena won 56.

Claiming that the BJP had agreed to a "50-50" formula on power sharing in the state, the Sena has demanded that the top seat should be shared between the two.

While the Sena has been aggressive in targeting its ally and even reached out to opposition leader Sharad Pawar, who heads the NCP, the BJP been in a a-wait-and-watch mode.

Pawar said on Wednesday that the mandate for his party and its ally Congress is to sit in opposition. It is for the BJP-Sena to form the government, he added.

If a new government is not sworn in before November 9, president's rule will have to be imposed in the state.

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