Mumbai: As Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) readies itself to form the first government in Maharashtra on Friday, its erstwhile ally Shiv Sena on Thursday said it would take a final decision on whether it will be a part of the Devendra Fadnavis -led government in the western state.
Speaking to ANI, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that party members will meeting today and a final decision will be taken by today evening.
Shiv Sena leaders held a marathon meeting on Wednesday at party president Uddhav Thackleray's residence 'Matoshree' to discuss the pros and cons of joining the BJP-led government.
"Discussions are on within the party. Uddhav ji will take a final call (on whether to join the BJP-led ministry)," Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe told reporters last night.
Senior party leaders Subhash Desai, Anil Desai, Sanjay Raut, Vinayak Raut and others attended the crucial meeting.
Meanwhile, a BJP leader, speaking on condition of anonymity said that talks with Sena on government formation will only resume after Friday's swearing-in ceremony.
The swearing-in ceremony of the BJP's first government in Maharashtra will be held at Wankhede Stadium on Friday. Maharashtra Governor CV Rao will administer the oath of office and secrecy to chief minister-designate Devendra Fadnavis, 44, and a small initial team of cabinet ministers.
BJP general secretary JP Nadda also indicated that both the estranged allies would reunite soon. "We want that Sena come with us. It is our desire. A positive result will emerge soon,” Nadda said.
Both Sena and BJP broke their decades long alliance after failing to reach an agreement on the seat sharing formula for the recently held Maharashtra Assembly polls.
During the election campaign Sena had viciously campaigned against BJP's most powerful leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Interestingly, Modi who extensively campaigned in the Maratha land didn't utter a single word against the Shiv Sena because of his respects for late Balasaheb Thackeray.
The BJP emerged as the single largest party with 122 legislators in the 288-member Assembly - far short of the requisite 145 for a simple majority.
One legislator died early Monday, reducing the party's strength to 121. Besides, it has the support of one pre-poll ally Rashtriya Samaj Paksha. The Shiv Sena, with 63 MLAs, has offered support, while Nationalist Congress Party will abstain from the vote of confidence, ensuring a smooth sailing for the new government.