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BJP, Shiv Sena to hold talks on power sharing in Maharashtra today

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Mumbai: After weeks of acrimony, the BJP and the Shiv Sena are likely to hold talks on forming an alliance for power sharing in Maharashtra on Friday. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had earlier hinted that the BJP is ready to accommodate Shiv Sena in the government, yesterday said that the two parties should govern the state together.
Fadnavis, while speaking to the reporters, said that since the Shiv Sena is part of the BJP-led NDA at Centre, it should also be a part of the Maharashtra government.

“Both the parties have this feeling that they should run the government in Maharashtra together,” Fadnavis said.

He also added that he had talks with Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray recently and further discussions on alliance with the party will begin from Friday. During the discussions, senior BJP leaders Devendra Pradhan and Chandrakant Patil will hold talks with Sena leaders, he added.

“We are hopeful of a positive decision soon,” he said.

As per sources, two parties are close to a deal on Shiv Sena joining the Devendra Fadnavis government in the state. Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP, Anil Desai, will also probably join the Narendra Modi government as a minister of state, sources say.

A power-sharing deal between the two parties was reached after a recent meeting between BJP president Amit Shah and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

Consequently, the Shiv Sena is likely to get 10 berths in the Fadnavis government, with at least four of Cabinet rank.

The Sena is believed to have agreed not to stake claim for the deputy chief minister’s post – it, however, may get the Home portfolio.

Reports said Power, PWD, Health and Rural Development are among other portfolios that the Sena may get.

In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, while the BJP has 122 MLAs the Shiv Sena is the second largest party with 63 legislators

Shiv Sena’s formal inclusion in the Fadnavis government will also strengthen the latter’s position in the state assembly as it is 22 short of simple majority in a House of 288 members.

Meanwhile, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, which has declared its unconditional outsde support to the BJP government in the state, has refused to comment on the proposed power sharing talks between the BJP and the Shiv Sena.a

Refusing to be drawn into the proposed talks between the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena for participation in the government, NCP on Thursday said its stand on outside support was for the sake of stability and it had not compromised on its ideology.

Addressing a press conference, NCP state president Sunil Tatkare said there was no confusion in his party ranks.

“Our ideology, policy is firm and strong. Who are the confused parties is for everyone to see,” he said without naming either the Shiv Sena or the BJP.

When asked about Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ comments that talks with Shiv Sena to join the government will begin tomorrow, he said, “We have nothing to do with it.”

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