Seven from Shiv Sena among 17 ministers to be sworn in tomorrow

7 Sena members and 10 BJP members will join the state cabinet; 4 members from alliance parties may also join cabinet

After the break-up, the sparring couple has come around and is ready to exchange vows. The deal between BJP and Shiv Sena has been sealed with the decision that 10 BJP members and seven Sena members will join Devendra Fadnavis’s cabinet on Friday. Four members from BJP’s alliance partners may also join, but that is yet to be finalised, a BJP leader told this newspaper.

Devendra Fadnavis Amit Shah
The BJP-Sena alliance was formalised on Tuesday, when CM Fadnavis met his party chief Amit Shah in New Delhi. File Pics

According to a senior functionary in the BJP government, the instructions to the state protocol department have been given and preparations for the swearing-in have begun. It will take place in the open space near Vidhan Bhavan, probably around 10 am.

“Though it has been decided that Shiv Sena will get 12 cabinet berths, seven will be inducted in the first phase,” said sources from the government. The rest will be inducted later, possibly after the winter session of the state legislature, which will begin in Nagpur on Monday.

The final touches to the BJP-Sena reunion were given by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena’s Subhash Desai and Anil Desai, who officiated on behalf of party chief Uddhav Thackeray. All the necessary formalities for the alliance were completed on Tuesday during the meeting between Fadnavis and BJP chief Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Though it is not clear which departments will be allocated to Shiv Sena, it is said that the BJP was not keen to part with influential portfolios such as home, urban development, housing or revenue. Another important aspect that figured in the BJP-Sena talks was the seat-sharing formula for the local and civic body elections. Sena wanted a word from BJP that it would contest maximum number of seats in BMC and other civic bodies, sources close to the development said.

“Sena was worried that BJP might claim a major share in seat allocations at local and civic body elections on the basis of its performance in Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections. As BJP has emerged as the number one party in both the elections, naturally it would ask for the bigger share. But Sena wanted a word on that and, for now, the issue has been resolved,” a senior leader of the BJP said.

He refused to divulge details of the talks. Meanwhile, RPI (A), Swabhimani Paksha led by Raju Shetti, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha led by Mahadeo Jankar and Vinayak Mete-led Shiv Sangram have been pressing their demands for inclusion. Swabhimani Paksha leader Sadabhau Khot met CM Fadnavis at Sahyadri state guesthouse to ask for a cabinet berth for the party.

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