Uncertainty lingers over Sena joining BJP govt in Maha

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Uncertainty lingers over Sena joining BJP govt in Maha
Mumbai, Oct 29: Even as BJP prepared for the inauguration of its first government in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today went into a huddle with top party leaders to discuss the future course of action but there were no signs of the party being in the BJP-led government for now.

A top BJP leader said no talks were underway with Sena and would resume only after the new government is sworn in on Friday.

Both sides had yesterday struck a conciliatory note after state BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis was elected the Legislature Party leader who will be the chief minister.

"Discussions are on within the party. Uddhavji will take a final call (on whether to join the BJP-led ministry)," Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe told reporters outside Uddhav's residence 'Matoshree' where he was closeted with senior party leaders Subhash Desai, Anil Desai, Sanjay Raut, Vinayak Raut and others.

A top central BJP leader, when asked if there was any breakthrough in discussions with Sena on the latter's joining the government, said talks would resume only after the oath taking ceremony on October 31. "No talks (with Shiv Sena) are currently underway.

Our whole focus is on making October 31 a grand success. We will resume talks only post that," he told PTI, speaking on condition of anonymity. Both parties had yesterday shown signs of a rapprochement with Shiv Sena MP and spokesman Sanjay Raut saying, "The blood group of BJP and Shiv Sena is the same." He had rubbished media reports that Sena was demanding deputy chief minister's post and some key portfolios as pre-condition for a reunion between the former saffron allies.

BJP leadership has been insisting that Sena join the government but without any pre-conditions. Newly-appointed BJP general secretary in-charge of the state J P Nadda too indicated that the former allies could reunite when he said, "We want that Sena come with us. It is our desire. A positive result will emerge soon."

Meanwhile, BJP sources said a "slim and trim" ministry will be sworn in on Friday. "Ours will be a slim and trim ministry, unlike the 40 plus jumbo ministry in the previous Congress-NCP regime," a senior BJP leader said. It is expected that around a dozen ministers will take oath, including state BJP Core Committee members Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawde, Pankaja Munde and Sudhir Mungantiwar.

BJP president Amit Shah and Union Minister from Maharashtra Nitin Gadkari are expected to arrive here tomorrow and may discuss the probable candidates for the new ministry. 


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