Amid ongoing power tussle with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra, one more independent MLA has extended support to the Shiv Sena. With this, the number of independent MLAs who have supported Uddhav Thackery’s party has increased to six and the party’s total tally to 62. Sena won 56 Assembly seats in the recently concluded elections in Maharashtra. With the increase in its seat, compared to previous Assembly results, Uddhav Thackeray has pitched for a 50:50 division for a turn at the Chief Minister's post.
Manjula Gavit has won from the Sakri constituency in Dhule district of the state. Earlier, she was with the BJP.
Earlier, Shankarrao Gadakh, an NCP-backed Independent MLA in Maharashtra, on Monday offered support to the Shiv Sena, which is pushing for an equal share in power with ally BJP in the next government.
The MLA from Nevasa in Ahmedanagar district made the announcement after meeting Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at his residence.
Gadakh’s father Yashwantrao was a former NCP leader.
“I represent a rural area where problems are more complicated. If I have to solve people’s issues, it is better to stay with the party which is going to form the government. Hence, I visited Mumbai today and extended support to the Sena,” he said.
The Sena, which won 56 seats in the October 21 Assembly polls, claimed its tally now stood at 61 with the support of five more MLAs.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena, with 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-member House, are busy wooing the 13 Independent MLAs in the state to give themselves an upper hand during discussions for formation of the next government.
In a related development, two Independent MLAs - Ravi Rana (Badnera in Amravati district) and Kishor Jorgewar (Chandrapur) - have declared support to the BJP.
The Sena has demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing “equal formula for sharing of power”, which could possibly include equal division of the chief ministerial tenure.
Speaking to a news channel on Monday, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “We will see how they do not share the post of chief minister. Both the parties agreed on 50:50 power-sharing formula. There is no need to explain it in detail.”