Having mended ties with the BJP, the Shiv Sena is set to join the Maharashtra government with 12 of its nominees, including five of cabinet rank, in the ministry led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. On Thursday, the two parties agreed to extend their partnership to jointly fighting polls to local bodies starting from March next year.
However, Friday’s swearing-in ceremony will have only 10 Sena members taking oath along with BJP’s 10, party sources said.
The reunion of the two parties, which snapped ties just before Assembly polls in October, is expected to provide greater stability with the strength of the alliance now being 183 — well past the halfway mark of 144 in the Assembly.
Evoking the ideological similarities that held the two parties together for the last 25 years, Fadnavis Thursday said, “The decision to come together was to respect the sentiments and mandate of the people of Maharashtra.”
The decision paves the way for a new poll partnership for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections scheduled for 2017. Elections to several other municipal corporations including Thane, Navi Mumbai and others across the state will begin from March 2015.
In a candid admission, Fadnavis said, “There were some ups and downs that marred the Sena and BJP alliance of the last 25 years.”
To present a picture of unity, Sena and BJP leaders shared the dais on Thursday.
A coordination committee will be set up to ensure smooth working of the alliance.