BJP MP Sanjay Kakade today claimed that around 45 newly elected Shiv Sena MLAs in Maharashtra are keen on government formation by joining hands with the BJP. The Rajya Sabha member made the claim while speaking to a television channel, amid the ongoing tussle between the ruling allies over forming the next state government.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena, which won 105 and 56 seats respectively, in the recently concluded state Assembly elections, are locked in a bitter battle over sharing of power.
"Out of 56, there are 45 MLAs who have expressed their interest in government formation along with the BJP. They are calling and asking us to induct them into the government," Mr Kakade said, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
He added that the Shiv Sena MLAs have been saying "do whatever, but we want to be part of the government with BJP".
However, when contacted by news agency Press Trust of India, Mr Kakade said that the 45 MLAs were of the opinion that the BJP and Shiv Sena should join hands for government formation.
As the BJP's tally went down in the October 21 state Assembly elections, compared to its 2014 performance, the Shiv Sena has been raising a pitch for "equal sharing" of power.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray last week reminded the BJP of the "50:50 formula agreed upon" between him, BJP chief Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
On Saturday, the Shiv Sena demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing "equal formula for sharing of power" before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state.
In the recent polls to 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, 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.