Mumbai: Newly-elected MLAs of the Shiv Sena will on Thursday elect the legislature party leader, days after the results of the state Assembly elections were declared. A meeting to this effect will be held at the Sena Bhavan in central Mumbai, a party leader said on Wednesday.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party is currently locked in a tussle with its ally, the BJP, over sharing of power in the next government. The negotiations have been underway since 24 October, when the poll results were declared. The Sena has been demanding the post of chief minister for an equal duration as the BJP.
Senior leader and minister Eknath Shinde is the incumbent legislative party leader of the Sena in the outgoing Assembly. In a separate development, the BJP on Wednesday re-elected Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as the leader of the legislature party. Fadnavis is tipped to be appointed as chief minister once again.
Meanwhile, two Independent MLAs Manjula Gavit (Sakri) and Chandrakant Nimba Patil (Muktainagar) on Wednesday pledged their support to the Sena after meeting Thackeray, sources said.
Notably, Patil defeated BJP veteran Eknath Khadse's daughter Rohini in the recent elections. The Sena, which won 56 seats in the elections, has so far enlisted the support of six MLAs including Gavit and Patil, taking its strength to 62 in the 288-member House.
Other MLAs who have extended their support to the Sena since the results were declared are: Bachu Kadu and Rajkumar Patel of the Prahar Janshakti Party, Ashish Jaiswal (Independent) and Shankarrao Gadakh of the Krantikari Shetkari Party.
On the other hand, the BJP, which bagged 105 seats, has won over at least six MLAs, most of them party rebels who had contested as Independent nominees. The BJP and Sena are locked in a tug-of-war over the latter's demand for rotational chief ministership.
Thackeray has been claiming that such arrangement was agreed upon during a formula discussed by himself, Fadnavis and BJP chief Amit Shah ahead of the 2019 polls. However, irked by Fadnavis' statement on Tuesday that Sena was never promised the post of the chief minister for equal period, Thackeray had cancelled power-sharing talks with the BJP.
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Updated Date: Oct 30, 2019 19:22:31 IST