Sixth Independent MLA Adds to Shiv Sena’s Strength in Maharashtra Amid Power Tussle With BJP
The sixth MLA, Manjula Gavit, had won from the Sakri constituency in Dhule district of the state. She was earlier with the BJP.
File photo of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
The Shiv Sena has enlisted the support of another independent MLA in Maharashtra as the struggle over the sharing of power continues with the BJP.
The latest addition, hours after the BJP made Devendra Fadnavis its CM pick, takes the number of independents who have supported Sena up to six and the party’s tally has increased to 62, sources said.
Uddhav Thackeray’s party had won 56 seats in the recently concluded assembly elections in Maharashtra. The upward movement of numbers, Sena hopes will lend weight to its demand for a 50:50 division for a turn at the Chief Minister's post, over which a bitter tussle is on with ally BJP.
The sixth MLA, Manjula Gavit, had won from the Sakri constituency in Dhule district of the state. She was earlier with the BJP. Prior to this, five of the 13 Independent candidates had declared support for Shiv Sena.
Shankarrao Gadakh, an NCP-backed Independent legislator in Maharashtra, had on Monday offered support to the Sena after meeting party chief Uddhav Thackeray at his residence in Mumbai.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena, with 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-member House, are busy wooing the 13 Independent MLAs in the state to give themselves an upper hand during discussions for formation of the next government.
The Sena has demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing "equal formula for sharing of power", which could possibly include equal division of the chief ministerial tenure.
Speaking to a news channel on Monday, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "We will see how they do not share the post of chief minister. Both the parties agreed on 50:50 power-sharing formula. There is no need to explain it in detail."
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