Mumbai: A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the talks with Shiv Sena over power sharing were 70-80 per cent complete, a senior Sena leader today said both the parties have "buried" their differences and agreed on a "suitable" formula.
According to the pact, Sena will be alloted a total of 12 ministries in the Fadnavis government, out of which 5 will be of Cabinet rank. However, the formal announcement in this regard is likely to be delayed in the wake of demise of Congress veteran and former Maharashtra chief minister A R Antulay today.
"After discussing our alliance with the BJP over last few days, we have finally decided on a ministry-sharing formula (which is) agreeable to both parties," said a senior Sena leader whose name is reportedly in reckoning among Sena inductees in BJP government.
"We have decided (with BJP) that Shiv Sena will hold 5 cabinet portfolios in the state ministry and 7 Minister of State portfolios," he told PTI. He said the expansion of the state cabinet, slated for Wednesday, may get deferred by a couple of days after Antulay's death. "We have to follow the protocol after the sad demise of Congress leader A R Antulay.
The expansion will be deferred by at least a couple of days now, and thus we will be formally announcing the names of Sena ministers only when the cabinet expansion date is announced," he said. Another Sena leader said ministries to be allotted to his party include Industries, Environment, Health, MSRDC (Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation) and Transport or Excise.
This is viewed as a tactical climb-down by Sena from its earlier stand wherein it had staked the claim for the crucial posts of the deputy chief minister and home minister. However, senior Sena leader Subhash Desai who had held talks with Fadnavis last night told PTI that talks between BJP and Sena leaders will continue today.
"We discussed several things last night," he has said.A Sena leader had said last night that talks with BJP have almost reached a positive conclusion barring one ministry. When contacted a senior BJP leader said the formula -allotting 5 Cabinet berths and 7 state ministries to Sena - is indeed thrashed out. "However discussions are still on," he said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.