Maharashtra: BJP will not blink first in battle of nerves with Shiv Sena

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BJP
New Delhi, Oct 21: Keeping all its options open for government formation in Maharashtra, BJP today indicated that it is in no hurry to decide on whose support it would take while making it clear that it will not blink first in the battle of nerves with estranged ally Shiv Sena.

Ahead of government formation, Union Minister and former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari today met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the latter's residence and spent about half an hour with him to discuss the party's strategy ahead.

After the meeting Gadkari will leave for Nagpur to hold discussions with the RSS top brass on its options ahead. RSS is keen that the saffron forces should united but have left it to the BJP to decide.

The proposed meeting of newly-elected party MLA's in Mumbai to elect their leader has also been postponed as Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was appointed its observer, will now travel after Diwali.

"I am not going today. I think I will visit Mumbai after Diwali," he told reporters here.

Singh was to be accompanied by BJP general secretary J P Nadda to finalise on the leader of the BJP legislature party in Maharashtra. Jaitley and Gadkari are reported to have discussed the party's choices available for government formation in the state.

NCP has already offered unconditional support to the BJP, but the saffron party has not decided on whether to accept it or not. In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, BJP has won 123 seats, 22 short of a majority. Sena, which has emerged the second largest, bagged 63 seats. NCP with 41 has already decided to extend outside support to BJP. 

PTI

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