Maharashtra BJP Legislature Party will meet in Mumbai on Wednesday to elect its new leader. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Amid demand by ally Shiv Sena for the top post on rotational basis, the Maharashtra BJP Legislature Party will meet in Mumbai on Wednesday to elect its new leader. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is likely to be elected as the leader of the BJP legislature party. Fadnavis said that BJP president Amit Shah will not attend the meeting of the newly-elected BJP MLAs to pick the legislature party leader. Earlier, Fadnavis had said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already announced the name and the meeting will be a formality.”
The BJP on Tuesday named Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and party’s vice president Avinash Rai Khanna as central observers for the Maharashtra legislature party meeting.
On Tuesday, Fadnavis announced during an informal meeting with journalists, “I will be Maharashtra Chief Minister for next five years.” He refuted any tension between the allies and said that there was no trouble and the BJP and Shiv Sena will form the government in Maharashtra. The statement came a day after Fadnavis called on Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Interestingly, the Shiv Sena leaders also met the Governor, albeit separately.
“Our party president has confirmed nothing has been decided on CM post to Shiv Sena. No formula is decided yet,” Fadnavis had said.
There were speculations that during his visit, Shah will meet Thackeray to iron out the defences to accelerate the process of government formation.
In the recent polls to 288-member Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, a loss of 17 seats compared to its 2014 tally. The Sena’s tally also came down to 56 seats from 63 in 2014. A resurgent NCP won 54 and the Congress bagged 44 seats. Ever since the results were announced on October 24, there have been statements from a section in the opposition Congress, though not officially, hinting that a move by the Sena to look beyond the BJP for government formation may get positive feelers.
The opposition NCP, however, has categorically denied any role in government formation, saying its mandate is to be the opposition.