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PMO asks Shiv Sena for 2 names to be included in Modi govt

Amid the continuing uncertainty over Shiv Sena's participation in the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, the party on Thursday said two of its MPs would be inducted into the Union Council of Ministers when Prime Minister Narendra Modi expands it on Sunday.

"We have got a call from the Prime Minister's office requesting us to recommend two names that we feel should be included in Modiji's cabinet. Though we have several names, Uddhavji will send his recommendation by tomorrow morning," a Sena MP told PTI, requesting anonymity.

The offer of ministerial berths to Sena at the Centre, coming as it does after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra
Fadnavis made it clear that no Shiv Sena minister will be inducted into his ministry before it wins trust vote on November 12, is being seen as an attempt by BJP to humour the former ally into backing the government during the floor test. 

While BJP had insisted on Sena first helping it sail through the trust vote, the latter wanted at least some of its ministers included in the Fadnavis government before November 12.

Though both sides have claimed power-sharing talks were in progress, they have not yet been able to sort out the differences over Sena's demand for deputy chief ministership and 2:1 share of ministries.

Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete is the lone Shiv Sena Minister in the Union Cabinet and the party has often complained about having been neglected by BJP at the Centre.

The Sena MP said though Uddhav would send the names of MPs to be included in the Union government tomorrow, it should not be "misconstrued" as indication of it being prepared to relent on its demands in Maharashtra.

"Please do not equate the demands made by our party to the Central and the state governments. Our demands are different on different levels. We are firm on our demands as far as the state is concerned," he said.

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