MUMBAI: A steering committee to run the new Maharashtra government with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray possibly at its helm, could be the face-saver for the party as it prepares to formally do business with the BJP again, sources said.
With just two days left for the outgoing Assembly to expire, they have little time left for government formation.
“Now our formula is in place. Sena’s resentment will be put to an end. The people of Maharashtra have voted for the Mahayuti (grand alliance). Hence, we shall form the government. Me and state BJP president Chandrakant Patil will meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari tomorrow to discuss the next steps,” finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar told this newspaper without divulging any details.
Earlier in the day, six Shiv Sena ministers attended a meeting of guardian ministers called by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, which was seen as a positive sign from the grumpy ally.
Also, two of the Sena ministers had a short discussion with Fadnavis on government formation. One of the proposals was on the formation of a steering panel headed by Uddhav Thackeray to placate the ally, sources said.
Sena leaders then gave Uddhav a full briefing. The final call on the peace formula and government formation will be taken at a meeting of the party’s MLAs on Thursday.
For the record, Sena MP Sanjay Raut parroted the line on getting no offer from the BJP, but sources said that the mood within Shiv Sena is inclined towards accepting the proposals and forming the government.
Raut categorically said that Thackeray hasn’t received any proposal from the BJP over government formation. He also said that his party is okay with the BJP’s move to meet governor Koshyari.
“We met the Governor. Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athawale also met him. And if BJP leaders are meeting the Governor (to stake claim to form the government), then they should form the government as they are the single largest party,” Raut said.
“We have been saying that the BJP being the single largest party, should form the government,” he added.
Meanwhile, a senior BJP leader, who was with the Shiv Sena and the NCP earlier, said that even if BJP fails to take Sena on board immediately, a government can be formed by Friday evening and thereby about a month’s time can be bought to further negotiations with the Shiv Sena.
Union minister and RPI(A) leader Ramdas Athawale, however, said that the Sena is left with no other options but to form government with the BJP.