Shiv Sena's MLA tally soared to 64 after one more Independent legislator extended his support to it on Monday as uncertainty over government formation continues to prevail in Maharashtra.
Rajendra Patil Yadravkar, an Independent MLA from Shirol, pledged his support to Shiv Sena which bagged 56 seats in the recently concluded Maharashtra assembly elections.
Patil is among the legislators who have supported Shiv Sena after the announcement of poll results. Other MLAs who have lent their support to the Sena include Manjula Gavit from Sakri, Chandrakant Patil from Muktainagar, Bachchu Kadu from Achalpur, Rajkumar Patel from Melghat, Ashish Jaiswal from Ramtek, Narendra Bhondekar from Bhandara, and Shankar Rao Gadakh from Newasa Assembly constituency.
Shiv Sena is engaged in a bitter slugfest with ally BJP over its demand for an equal share in Cabinet portfolios and the chief minister's term in the next government. However, BJP has not budged, maintaining that Devendra Fadnavis will continue to head the government.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis, both, have said that a new government will soon be in place in the state.
According to sources, BJP and Shiv Sena are engaged in back-channel talks on the government formation and a positive outcome is expected to be announced in a few days.
Sources also confirmed that initially, 12 to 14 MLAs will take oath as Cabinet ministers along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Shiv Sena has said that the two parties had a '50-50' power-sharing agreement before the elections but Fadnavis has clarified that Shiv Sena was not promised the post of minister for two-and-a-half years when the alliance was sealed before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP has emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats in the recently concluded polls in the 288-member state Assembly.
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