Mumbai: Even as a section of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State unit continues to lobby for a minority government in Maharashtra with the help of Independents, the party announced on Sunday that it wanted a tie-up with its estranged ally, the Shiv Sena. However, this announcement came with the rider that the Sena should come on board without any conditions.
“We are keen to take the Shiv Sena with us in forming the new government, but they should come forward without any conditions. Discussions on portfolios can come later; it is important to have a meeting of minds,” said senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde.
The party’s statement came after an outburst by Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar earlier in the day: “The BJP does not want us. Their State leaders do not want the alliance.” Mr. Kirtikar was in Delhi to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high tea for NDA constituents.
There is growing frustration within the Sena which has been kept on hold by the BJP ever since the election results. Many in the party feel the BJP is set to humiliate them and is not serious about striking an alliance.
However, the party welcomed the BJP’s statement. Meanwhile, the BJP has announced that its Chief Ministerial candidate will be chosen on Tuesday after a meeting of legislators and MPs. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and senior BJP leaders will be present.
The swearing-in ceremony is expected on October 30 at Wankhede stadium. Mr. Modi may attend the event.