The BJP will welcome support of all parties except Congress, which is "responsible for the mess", so that the government can work for development of Maharashtra and fulfill the aspirations of its people, senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

The remark by Rudy, who was in-charge of Maharashtra affairs of BJP till recently, indicated that the BJP was not averse to receiving support of all non-Congress parties in the state, including the NCP.

"Those who want to come forward for the development of Maharashtra should come. We want to take along all those who want to come forward for the development of Maharashtra. I hope Shiv Sena will turn around," he said.

Asked about Sharad Pawar's NCP, he said that party has already extended unconditional support but dismissed suggestions that they will be running the show in the state.
    
On a query whether Union Minister Anant Geete will soon resign and Shiv Sena will sit in opposition in Maharashtra, he said he was not aware of Geete resigning.
       
"Even prior to elections, we wanted to take Shiv Sena along and post-elections also, wanted it to be part of the government," he said.
    
The remarks were significant as Shiv Sena gave conflicting signals of sitting in the Opposition in the state Assembly while appearing open to conciliatory talks.
        
Rudy was speaking after taking over as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs along with Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in Parliament House today in the presence of Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

In a sudden move on Monday, a day after its chief Uddhav Thackeray served an ultimatum to BJP to come clear within two days on the issue of taking NCP's support for survival of its government, Sena submitted a letter to the Assembly Secretary asking him to accord its Legislature Party leader Eknath Shinde Leader of Opposition status.
       
Hours later, however, Uddhav said the decision to stake claim to LoP's post was taken because Congress wanted the position on the ground that Sena was part of the BJP-led NDA and, if that were to happen, "we would have been left nowhere".
    
After BJP and Sena, Congress is the third largest party in the Assembly with 42 MLAs. BJP has 121 MLAs in the Assembly with effective strength of 287, still 24 short of a majority. With the help of 7
independents and few others from smaller parties, it can reduce the gap but cannot bridge it completely.

41-member NCP holds key to the survival of the Devendra Fadnavis government. With the 63-member Shiv Sena deciding to sit in the opposition, the minority Fadnavis dispensation can win the trust vote with the help of either active voting by NCP or through abstention.

 

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