Union minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari, who arrived in Mumbai on Friday, indicated he will not intervene to break the deadlock between his party and the Shiv Sena over sharing power in Maharashtra. Gadkari’s visit triggered speculation in political circles that he may step in to break the fortnight-long BJP- Sena logjam over sharing the chief minister’s post, which is delaying goverment formation in the state.
When contacted by reporters, Gadkari said, “I am not meeting any politician today. I am here to attend a public function today evening.” It is unclear whether the Union minister would attend a core committee meeting of Maharashtra BJP leaders scheduled on Friday at the official residence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Gadkari, however, on Thursday had stressed that the BJP should get the post of chief minister because it has won more seats than the Shiv Sena. The Sena, however, has claimed Fadnavis had in February said that “all the portfolios will be equally shared” between the BJP and Shiv Sena.
Fadnavis and the BJP have denied agreeing to splitting the chief minister’s post and equal distribution of portfolios between the saffron allies.
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the October 21 Assembly polls winning 105 seats, and its ally Shiv Sena, distant second largest with 56 seats, have not staked claim to form government together or separately till now.