There were indications that Sena, which broke 25-year alliance with BJP ahead of Maharashtra elections last month, might join the government later.
The new government will be sworn-in on October 31 in the presence of top central leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several of his cabinet colleagues and BJP chief ministers at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium, BJP sources said.
Maharashtra Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya said Wankhede Stadium has been chosen because of its seating capacity of 25,000 to 30,000 and the “good seating arrangement” there for VVIPs.
The 122 party MLAs will meet at 4 pm, party sources said in New Delhi on Monday.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who has been appointed as the observer for Tuesday’s meeting and BJP general secretary J P Nadda, who is the party’s new in-charge for Maharashtra affairs, will oversee the process of electing the legislature party leader.
The election of the legislature party leader, who will be the chief minister, will mark a step towards formation of the government in the state where BJP fell short of a majority by 23 seats in the 288-member assembly.
“After the legislature party leader is elected, we will call on Governor C Vidyasagar Rao and stake claim to form government on Tuesday itself," BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
Speaking openly for the first time in favour of a BJP-led coalition government, senior Sena leader and spokesman Sanjay Raut said such a dispensation will be a “stable” one.
“If Shiv Sena and BJP come together to form a government it will be stable. Our ties with BJP are very old. Whatever happened during the election we have forgotten. Ours is not like an India-Pakistanfight.”
He added, “The people have given mandate to BJP. It has got more seats. It is our duty (to lend support to BJP). Sena’s support will always be there for a chief minister who works in the interest of Maharashtra,” he said.
44-year-old state BJP president DevendraFadnavis is being seen as clear favourite for the CM’s post.
There were indications that BJP would form the government and Shiv Sena might join in after some time. BJP sources said back channel talks are on with Sena on a possible tie-up for government-formation but the process may take some more time.
No formal talks with the Sena leadership have taken place so far, the party sources insisted.
“We will not be part of the government but do not want to create instability by voting against a minority government. So, NCP will abstain, if there is voting,” party spokesman Nawab Malik said.
Sena has of late softened its stand against BJP with an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna on Monday saying that the party was ready to back any BJP CM.
Sena leaders also hinted of a possibility of their joining the government later on.
BJP leaders have described Sena as their “natural” partner pointing out its member Ananth Geete remains a member of Union cabinet.