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BJP govt in Maha to be sworn-in Friday, Sena's presence unlikely

BJP govt in Maha to be sworn-in Friday, Senas presence unlikely

Mumbai: The first BJP government in Maharashtra headed by state party chief Devendra Fadnavis will be sworn in Friday with Shiv Sena unlikely to join the new dispensation for now as talks continued between the two saffron parties for a tie-up.

44-year-old Fadnavis, a four-term MLA from Nagpur, will be administered the oath of office by Governor C Vidyasagar Rao at Wankhede Stadium in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several of his Cabinet colleagues, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, corporate leaders, Bollywood stars and other celebrities.

A small Cabinet of around ten ministers including state BJP Core Committee members Eknath Khadse, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde besides MLAs from Schedule Castes and Scheduled tribes is also likely to be sworn in.

"A slim and trim government will take oath tomorrow," a BJP leader said.

As talks with former ally Shiv Sena for a possible tie-up are still going on, no minister from that party was likely to be inducted tomorrow.

"It seems unlikely that any Shiv Sena minister will be sworn in tomorrow. Talks with Sena are on in an amicable atmosphere for a possible tie-up in Maharashtra but there has been no outcome yet," BJP General Secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy told PTI.

Maintaining that BJP was looking forward to a decision soon, he said, "This may not happen tomorrow."

BJP had emerged as the single largest party in the 288-member state Assembly with 122 seats but one of its MLAs Govind Rathod died.

Though technically it will be a minority government until Sena joins it, declared support from 41-member NCP will act as a hedge for the BJP dispensation. It also has the support of several Independent MLAs and those from some smaller parties.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is likely to hold discussions with senior leaders again this evening and announce the party's stand on joining the government.

Sena MP and spokesman Sanjay Raut said "positive talks" were on between the two parties and extended best wishes to Fadnavis and his team.

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