Amid tug-of-war over the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister, BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday. Sources say that the meeting is a prelude to the BJP’s bold efforts to regain the control of Mantralaya. Fadnavis is likely to stake claim to form the government. Sources say that the BJP leaders are not the only one to meet Koshyari later today. Its ally in the state, Shiv Sena is also sending its leaders to meet the Governor separately today. The post-Diwali meetings come days after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray sought a written assurance from the BJP over compliance of 50-50 formula.
Meanwhile, there’s a strong buzz over Fadnavis taking oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra on either November 2nd or 3rd next month. According to a media report by the Decan Chronicle, the BJP will hold the swearing-in ceremony at Mumbai’s Wankhade Stadium. The report quoted a BJP leader as saying that the party had planned to hold the swearing ceremony at Mahalakshmi Race Course — if it had managed to get a majority on its own.
A PTI report also said that BJP president Amit Shah might visit Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on October 30 after attending a meeting of the BJP's newly-elected MLAs to elect the leader of the House in Mumbai. Shah's meeting, if it happens, with Thackeray assumes huge political significance given the Sena's demand for equal sharing of power in the next government in view of the senior ally BJP's weakened tally. According to sources, Sena's equal sharing of power entails chief ministership for Thackeray's son Aaditya Thackeray, a first-time MLA. "A meeting of the BJP legislative party will take place in Mumbai on October 30. All the party legislators and state office-bearers will also be present. Our national president Amit Shah and leader (Maharashtra BJP incharge) Saroj Pandey will also be present at the meeting," BJP MLC Girish Vyas said. "After the meeting, Shah may visit Uddhav Thackeray," he added.
In the recently concluded Maharashtra Assembly polls, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance won an absolute majority. As per the Election Commission, the BJP secured 105 seats, Shiv Sena (56), Congress (44) and the Nationalist Congress Party (54). The BJP's tally in the Assembly polls, results of which were declared on October 24, came down to 105 from 122 in 2014, prompting the Sena, with 56 seats and greater bargaining power, to play hardball in power sharing talks.