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No CM’s post, but BJP may offer key ministries to placate Sena

Redrawing priorities with five days left before a new government must be sworn in. Along with revenue, BJP could part with finance ministry. The party, however, is firm on keeping home and urban development portfolios. “Along with revenue, we coul...

, ET Bureau|
Nov 04, 2019, 08.27 AM IST
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AP
Devendra-Fadnavis-AP
In a bid to exert more pressure on the BJP, Sena has said that Raut will be meeting Maharashtra Governor in two days asking him to invite the biggest party to form the government.
Mumbai: The BJP is considering offering some key ministries such as finance to its pre-poll partner Shiv Sena in an attempt to seal a deal to form the government in Maharashtra, a climbdown from its earlier position that it would not part with any of the important portfolios such as home affairs, urban development, finance and rural development, let alone give in to the demand of chief ministership for half the term.

“Along with revenue, we could part with finance, though it’s not final yet,” said a BJP leader, who did not wish to be identified. However, the leader said the BJP will not offer chief ministership or home and urban development portfolios to the Sena.

He said the BJP’s core committee would be meeting on Sunday night to decide on how to hammer out a compromise with the Shiv Sena. However, the Shiv Sena is still looking at demanding portfolios such as housing and urban development.

The BJP’s move comes amid a sense of exasperation and urgency in the party, with just five days left before a new government must be sworn in, as the Shiv Sena has held out since the declaration of assembly election result on October 24 and refused to commit to give its support to the BJP to form the government.

CM Devendra Fadnavis, who was on a tour on Sunday of farms that have been affected by heavy unseasonal rains, said: “I believe the issue of government formation will soon be resolved.

There are limitations to how much a caretaker government can do for the farmers who have been hit by the unseasonal rains. It is in the interest of the farmers and the state that a new government is sworn in.”

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray who was also on a tour to visit farmers in the state, said, “Farmers in Maharashtra are traumatised by the rains that are saying I will come back.” He was understood to be referring to Fadnavis’ last speech in the Maharashtra assembly prior to the assembly election saying that he would come back as the CM.

Thackeray said that the`10,000 crore package given to the farmers by the state government was not enough and that they should be given more. He also hit out at the central government, questioning whether the country had not been taken into confidence over the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

RCEP is a proposed free-trade agreement between the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its six free-trade agreement partners, including India and China.

“We believe the Centre is about to sign the RCEP. The impact would be far-reaching and the country does not know the terms and clauses of the deal. It has not been presented before the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The country needs to know and only then the deal should be signed,” said Thackeray.

In Mumbai, Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut asked why BJP chief Amit Shah was not involved in negotiations with the party on Maharashtra.

In a bid to exert more pressure on the BJP, Sena has said that Raut will be meeting Maharashtra Governor in two days asking him to invite the biggest party to form the government.

The BJP however feels that this is just pressure tactics by the Sena to take more plum portfolios from the party.
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