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BJP adopts 'wait and watch' strategy over government formation in Maharashtra

The BJP has adopted the `wait and watch` strategy and kept the door open to have talks with its ally Shiv Sena, said top sources on Monday (November 4). The BJP, which has emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly polls, and its ally Shiv Sena, which has won 56 seats, are engaged in a bitter tug-of-war over. The Sena is adamant over the equal distribution of portfolios and sharing of the chief minister`s post.

BJP adopts 'wait and watch' strategy over government formation in Maharashtra

MUMBAI: The BJP has adopted the `wait and watch` strategy and kept the door open to have talks with its ally Shiv Sena, said top sources on Monday (November 4). The BJP, which has emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly polls, and its ally Shiv Sena, which has won 56 seats, are engaged in a bitter tug-of-war over. The Sena is adamant over the equal distribution of portfolios and sharing of the chief minister`s post.

The BJP is, however, firm on its stand that Devendra Fadnavis will become the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra. The sources informed that the BJP has the support of 121 MLAs, including independents and small parties MLAs, but the party is not interested in forming a minority government.

The party has reiterated that 50-50 formula meant equal share in the government, but that does not include the Chief Minister's post for two-and-a-half-year, said the sources, which added that the BJP is of the view that there was no agreement on the CM's post.

The BJP, which is ready to give away the Cabinet portfolios and the post of deputy chief minister to its ally, is hopeful of resolving the deadlock before November 8.

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Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence in New Delhi to reportedly discuss the current political situation in Maharashtra.

The meeting took place at a time when the BJP is said to have actively opened back-channel talks with NCP and simultaneously procured unofficial support of five Independent and 1 MLA from a smaller party.

The Chief Minister`s Office in Maharashtra, however, insisted the meeting was not between a top BJP leader and the BJP President, but between the Chief Minister and the Union Home Minister. According to Maharashtra CMO, the meeting is to draw the attention of Shah to the farmers` woes in the state due to unseasonal rain.

The political significance of Shah-Fadnavis meeting cannot be ignored as it comes on a day when NCP chief Sharad Pawar also met interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the national capital today.

The BJP and Sena fought the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly election together and won 105 and 56 MLAs, respectively. Together, they have the magic figure of 145 but Sena has been adamant on a 50-50 agreement and sharing of Chief Minister`s post.

Meanwhile, the Sena leader Sanjay Raut met the Maharashtra Governor on Monday, and requested him to invite the single largest party to form the government.

After meeting the Governor, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Raut said, "Since there is a confusion over the formation of government in Maharashtra the Sena will not be an obstacle." He said the party which won the maximum seats should be allowed to form the government.