Three days after the two estranged allies resumed power-sharing talks, the Shiv Sena Monday seemed set to join the BJP-led government, paving way for the expansion of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led Cabinet which could take place as early as Friday.
Senior Sena leaders were huddled with the CM at his official residence in Mumbai till late Monday night. Early on Tuesday morning, Fadnavis left for Nagpur. Sources said the talks would resume after he returns.
The Shiv Sena is learnt to have given up its claim for deputy chief ministership and home department and agreed to a deal that gives the party 12 berths in the Cabinet, of them five are of Cabinet rank and the rest with the minister of state rank. The four important portfolios offered to Sena are industries, public works department, energy and water resources.
Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai said Tuesday, “Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has received a formal proposal from the BJP. CM Fadnavis and Thackeray are directly talking on the matter.” He said a formal decision would be announced in a few days.
At present, the Fadnavis cabinet has nine ministers. The total strength of his Cabinet is likely to be 36. Both the BJP and the Sena are said to have begun short-listing names of candidates to be inducted in the Cabinet.
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