A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) elected incumbent Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as the leader of its legislative party, Shiv Sena leaders will meet on Thursday to choose their leader. Party chief Uddhav Thackeray, his son Aditya, who won from Worli Assembly constituency, and other elected MLAs will be part of the meeting, where discussion on government formation with BJP is also to take place. Eknath Shinde is likely to be elected as the legislative party leader.
The BJP and Shiv Sena are locked in a bitter power tussle over seat-sharing in Maharashtra even a week after the election results were announced. Shiv Sena, which won 56 seats in the elections, wants a coalition government under 50:50 formula, which means Maharashtra will have two CMs for 2.5 years each. However, BJP, which emerged as the single-largest party in the state by winning 105 seats, has stated that only Fadnavis will be Maharashtra CM for the next five years and also added that his government will have Shiv Sena ministers too.
In Thursday's meeting, Uddhav will speak to his MLAs, who are for and against the 50:50 formula and assign two party leaders who will speak to the BJP further.
As per sources, BJP will also decide its course of action after Shiv Sena reveals their decision. BJP also might depute two leaders to hold talks with Shiv Sena.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders are also meeting on Thursday to chalk out strategies to form a non-BJP government in Maharashtra.
Amid the ongoing political slugfest with BJP, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said that his party will decide the fate of Maharashtra and added that the state needs a stable government and no decision should be taken in a hurry.
Raut made it clear that Shiv Sena leaders are not in touch with BJP and Uddhav Thackeray is the only person who will take a final decision on the party's future course of action.
Responding to Fadnavis' remarks that the BJP will form government in alliance with Shiv Sena, Raut said that the party welcomes his statement and it is important that the two parties remain together. He, however, stressed that the BJP must not forget the commitments which it had made to Sena before the Lok Sabha election.