Even as Shiv Sena MPs, led by Union Minister Anant Geete, attended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high tea on Sunday, there was no word yet on a BJP-Sena alliance in Maharashtra. Meanwhile, the newly-elected BJP MLAs are set to meet on Tuesday to elect their legislature party leader and the Chief Minister designate.
State BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis is the frontrunner for the post. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony, scheduled to be held at the Wankhede Stadium on October 30.
Confirming this, Vinod Tawde, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, said: “The party has taken a decision to hold its legislature party meeting on October 28. The new CM will be sworn in on October 30.”
While stating that his party wants an alliance with the Sena, Tawde said, “The BJP believes the alliance with Shiv Sena should be through sincere feelings… Sena should join the government without any ifs and buts. It should give unconditional support to the BJP government.”
A senior Sena MP told The Indian Express, “Party president Uddhav Thackeray has kept all options open. We are keen on joining an alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra. But a lot depends on how it evolves. However, there is no reason for us to severe our ties at the Centre.”
Senior BJP leader Gajanan Kirtikar said, “It appears that state BJP leaders are not willing to have Sena as an alliance partner in Maharashtra.”
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party with 122 seats, is confident that it will be able to face a vote of confidence with the help of smaller parties and independents. Moreover, the NCP has already offered its “unconditional” support.
“The lone MNS MLA, Sharad Sonawane, is also likely to support to the BJP government,” said a senior state BJP leader. However, MNS president Raj Thackeray has not made any statement yet.