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BJP proceeds with govt formation in Maha, Sena may join later

BJP proceeds with govt formation in Maha Sena may join later Moving ahead with the government-formation process in Maharashtra, newly-elected MLAs of BJP will meet in Mumbai tomorrow to choose their Legislature Party leader amid Shiv Sena’s open expression of desire for a coalition government of the two saffron parties.

There were indications that Sena, which broke 25-year alliance with BJP ahead of Maharashtra elections last month, might join the government later.

The new government will be sworn-in on October 31 in the presence of top central leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several of his Cabinet colleagues and BJP Chief Ministers, BJP sources said.

The 122 party MLAs will meet at 4 PM, party sources said in New Delhi today.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who has been appointed as the observer for tomorrow’s meeting and BJP general secretary J P Nadda, who is the party’s new incharge for Maharashtra affairs, will oversee the process of electing the Legislature Party leader.

The election of the Legislature Party leader, who will be the Chief Minister, will mark a step towards formation of the government in the state where BJP fell short of a majority by 23 seats in the 288-member Assembly.

“After the Legislature Party leader is elected, we will call on Governor C Vidyasagar Rao and stake claim to form government tomorrow itself,” BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy told PTI in Mumbai.

Speaking openly for the first time in favour of a BJP-led coalition government, senior Sena leader and spokesman Sanjay Raut said such a dispensation will be a “stable” one.

“If Shiv Sena and BJP come together to form a government it will be stable. Our ties with BJP are very old. Whatever happened during the election we have have forgotten. Ours is not like an India-Pakistan fight.

“The people have given mandate to BJP. It has got more seats. It is our duty (to lend support to BJP). Sena’s support will always be there for a Chief Minister who works in the interest of Maharashtra,” he said.