The million-dollar question of who shall be the chief minister of the state is likely to be answered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. The newly elected MLAs from BJP and its allies are scheduled to meet today, and might approve a one-line resolution approving the central leadership to take the decision.
To avoid a debate on the issue of the state CM, PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah are likely to take a final call and announce their decision latest by Thursday
BJP has witnessed an in-party crisis in the state, after various factions were lobbying for different candidates. Vidarbha MLAs have rallied behind Nitin Gadkari, while legislators from north Maharashtra had pushed for senior leader Eknath Khadse’s cause, whereas the frontrunner to be the CM is BJP’s state president Devendra Fadnavis.
The final word
“Campaigns run through electronic, print and social media had led to intense debate among party men and created confusion among the cadre. To avoid repercussions, efforts are on to arrive at a consensus,” a party leader said.
In this direction, a special meeting of party legislators will be called at 11 am at the party’s headquarters in the city today, where senior leaders would address them on intra-party issues, sources said.
Efforts will be made to convince party legislators on the issue of the new CM. In the official meeting of MLAs from the BJP and its allies scheduled for 4 pm today in Vidhan Bhavan, a one-line resolution might be passed, authorising the PM and Amit Shah to nominate the new leader, in order to avoid any debate on the issue.
In this scenario, the central leadership might communicate its decision on the issue by Wednesday or Thursday. The swearing-in ceremony shall be held on Friday, October 31 at Wankhede stadium. The date was changed as per the convenience of PM Modi’s schedule, say party sources.
Along with the new CM, eight ministers with cabinet rank and an equal number of ministers with minister of state rank will be sworn in. The cabinet may include senior leaders from areas such as Vidarbha and north Maharashtra, in order to offer higher representation to the regions and pacify senior leaders who are vying for the top post.
On the issue of Shiv Sena, a senior party leader said no special efforts were on to accommodate the party in the new government. BJP cadres are very disturbed over the manner in which the PM and Shah were criticised in Sena mouthpiece Saamana, as well as in election campaigning.
Meanwhile, senior Sena leaders Subhash Desai and Anil Desai met BJP’s Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, in Delhi.