Mumbai/New Delhi: Newly elected BJP MLAs in Maharashtra will meet on Tuesday to elect their Legislature Party leader in a step closer towards government formation even as talks continued with former ally Shiv Sena over a possible alliance. Shiv Sena MPs led by Union Minister Anant Geete, meanwhile, attended Prime Minister Narendra Modi\'s high tea for NDA MPs on Sunday. Geete, however, said no political discussions took place at the meeting in Delhi. BJP Maharashtra unit president Devendra Fadnavis continues to be the frontrunner for the post of chief minister though there are some more names doing the rounds. The meeting to elect the Legislature Party leader and the chief minister designate will be held at 11 am at Vidhan Bhavan on Tuesday (28 October), senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse told reporters in Mumbai on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, Khadse, Fadnavis and senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde had met to discuss preparations for government formation. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP in-charge of Maharashtra JP Nadda would attend Tuesday\'s meeting as observers. The BJP legislature party leader would meet Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to stake claim for forming the next government, Khadse said. \"We will prove our majority in the house if the Governor desires,\" he said. Refusing to divulge details on government formation talks with Sena, Tawde said talks are on between Sena and BJP leaders. \"Leadership will take a decision,\" he added. Tawde told reporters in Mumbai that BJP was eager to have its former ally Shiv Sena on board in the government.
When asked about Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar\'s statement that state BJP leaders did not want to take along Sena, Tawde said BJP is keen to have a post-poll alliance with Shiv Sena. In Delhi, Geete said there is \"no deadlock\" and that the mandate of the people was that BJP and Shiv Sena should have a \"tie-up\". RPI chief Ramdas Athawale, an ally of BJP, said he told BJP president Amit Shah that BJP should form the government with Shiv Sena onboard and keep NCP away from the alliance. \"I have requested Amit Shah and Rajiv Pratap Rudy that BJP should take the lead in forming the government in Maharashtra at the earliest. It is not good to form a government with the support of NCP,\" he told reporters in New Delhi. BJP, which has emerged as the single largest party in the elections held for the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, winning 122 seats, has already been offered unconditional outside support by NCP which won 41 seats. With its 63 MLAs, Shiv Sena is the second largest party in the House.