It's Official! Patch up between BJP-SS, former ally will get 12 ministerial berth in Maharashtra

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Mumbai, Dec 4: 70 days after the two parties had snapped ties ending their 25-year-old alliance ahead of the assembly elections, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday formally announced an alliance with the Shiv Sena, offering the Uddhav Thackeray-led party 12 seats, including five Cabinet berths.

"People wanted BJP and Shiv Sena to join hands, but we could not agree on few points earlier," said Fadnavis.

Shiv Sena, BJP truce in Maharashtra.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that Shiv Sena will join his ministry. Fadnavis said there would be 12 ministers - 5 cabinet ministers and 7 minister of state - from the Shiv Sena in the cabinet. 

However, Fadnavis did not reveal the portfolios to be given to Sena, which was understood to be eyeing the key Home department, held by the Chief Minister, besides demanding the Deputy Chief Minister's post.

12 ministers from Sena, including five of cabinet rank will be inducted, he said, ruling out having a deputy chief minister's post. For now, 10 Sena ministers will take oath. Also about 8 to 10 BJP ministers will also take oath tomorrow, Fadnavis said.

The announcement came after days of parleys between the two parties which saw hard-bargaining for portfolios. The swearing in will take place at 4 PM at the Vidhan Bhawan premises.

At present the Fadnavis Ministry's strength is 10, including the Chief Minister. Eight of them are of Cabinet rank. "People voted against Congress and NCP. People wanted BJP and Sena to form government in Maharashtra," Fadnavis said.

"We could not take decisions on some issues. So BJP formed government. Workers of BJP and Sena wanted both the parties to be in government. Even legislators of both the parties wanted us to be in government together," he said.

"I spoke to Uddhavji that the Sena should join the government and he responded positively. Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan held talks with him and later on all of us worked out the modalities," he said.

"We will form a coordination committee and will jointly contest Zilla Parishad and Municipal polls," he said.

"We are two different parties and we have our own views on various issues," the chief minister said.He added that the alliance will be taken forward and the parties will contest local body elections in coalition.

The 34-day-old Devendra Fadnavis-led ministry in Maharashtra will be expanded tomorrow and the ceremony will be held at Vidhan Bhawan premises at 4 pm, an official said.

Fadnavis had met BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on Tuesday and is believed to have got the nod for BJP probables in the expansion exercise.

Presently there are eight cabinet and two ministers of state in the Fadnavis ministry sworn in on October 31.

(With inputs from agencies)

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