8:02 pm - Thursday November 5, 2015

It’s official: Sena will join Maharashtra govt on Friday, says CM Fadnavis

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Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday announced that the Shiv Sena would be a part of the BJP-led government, and announced that 12 legislators will be inducted into the government on Friday.

The Shiv Sena will be alloted a total of 12 ministries in the Fadnavis government, out of which 5 will be of Cabinet rank.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Fadnavis said that while the specific portfolios were not yet decided, the Sena would provide a list of legislators by evening.

“A lot of people wanted the BJP and Shiv Sena to come together to form the government. We couldn’t agree on some points. Many MLAs from both parties were also keen that the two parties re-establish the alliance,” Fadnavis said.

Last week, the chief minister had announced that seat-sharing talks between the two parties would be revived and  added that both the party leaderships were keen that the 25-year-old alliance that had ended ahead of the Assembly polls be revived.

“We have decided to form a new alliance again. Principally we have agreed to go together in future for municipal, panchayat polls,” he said, adding that he spoke to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray who also expressed the same desire of revivng ties. “The people’s verdict in Maharashtra was against the Congress-NCP and in favour of BJP, Shiv Sena,” he added.

Last week, a Sena leader who chose to not reveal his identity told PTI that seat-sharing talks were progressing and that his party would soon leave the Opposition.

“After discussing our alliance with the BJP over last few days, we have finally decided on a ministry-sharing formula (which is) agreeable to both parties,” he said.

Following the demise of Congress leader AR Antulay, the expansion of the state cabinet will now take place on Friday.

“We have to follow the protocol after the sad demise of Congress leader AR Antulay. The expansion will be deferred by at least a couple of days now, and thus we will be formally announcing the names of Sena ministers only when the cabinet expansion date is announced,” he said.

Among the ministries to be allotted to the Sena are Industries, Environment, Health, MSRDC (Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation) and Transport or Excise. The move is viewed as a tactical climb-down by Sena from its earlier stand wherein it had staked the claim for the crucial posts of the deputy chief minister and home minister.

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