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1-min read

BJP Ready to Offer 13 Portfolios as Shiv Sena Softens Stand, But Unlikely to Part With Major Ministries

Despite there being no deal in sight, the BJP is confident of a breakthrough in the deadlock by the end of this week.

News18.com

Updated:October 31, 2019, 10:34 AM IST
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BJP Ready to Offer 13 Portfolios as Shiv Sena Softens Stand, But Unlikely to Part With Major Ministries
The BJP has reportedly started preparations for Devendra Fadnavis' swearing-in ceremony at the Wankhede stadium likely to be held on November 4 or 5.

Mumbai: With the Shiv Sena seemingly tempering its stand on alliance negotiations, the BJP may offer a dozen portfolios to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party but is likely to deny it major ministries, sources told CNN-News18.

After driving a hard bargain for one week since election results, the Sena softened its stand on Wednesday, with party leader Sanjay Raut saying it is important for it to stay with the BJP-led alliance.

Sources said that the statement, within hours of the Sena criticizing the central government over a European Union delegation’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, was brought about by an ultimatum from the BJP. The saffron party had reportedly refused to proceed with negotiations until the Sena mellowed its critical stance.

Though official talks are yet to begin, BJP insiders say the party may offer 13 portfolios to its ally, but Revenue and Urban Development Department, as demanded by the Sena, won’t be part of this bouquet. Sources said, in fact, that the BJP is unlikely to part with any major ministry.

Despite there being no deal in sight, the BJP is confident of a breakthrough in the deadlock by the end of this week. The party has even started preparations for a grand swearing-in ceremony at the Wankhede stadium likely to be held on November 4 or 5.

“We will go to the Governor together to give the letter of majority,” a BJP source told News18.

The BJP has 105 MLAs in the 288-seat Maharashtra assembly, a loss of 17 seats compared to its 2014 tally. The Sena's tally also came down to 56 seats from 63 in 2014. A resurgent NCP won 54 and the Congress bagged 44 seats.

Reacting to the News18 report, Raut said options are open to the Shiv Sena as well.

“I don't know where this 13-26 formula came from. It should be declared a crime to put out such figures. Options are open in front of us as well, but we don't want to explore them right now. Shiv Sena is not a kid party (sic), in politics options are always open for each party,” he said.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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