Mumbai: NDA-ally Republican Party of India (RPI) on Thursday announced its support for Devendra Fadnavis as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and batted for his five-year term in the state.
"Mahayuti (BJP-Shiv Sena alliance) has got a clear majority. Yesterday, Devendra Fadnavis was elected BJP legislative leader. We have decided to support his name for the chief minister as he is the only front runner for us. We want one chief minister who continues for the entire five-year term," RPI chief Ramdas Athawale told reporters here.
His statement comes at a time when BJP-Shiv Sena are yet to sort out their differences and stake claim for the formation of government in the state after the recently-concluded polls.
Out of six RPI leaders who contested the polls on BJP ticket, only two were elected to the state Assembly.
Earlier, the Union Minister said that Shiv Sena should take a "compromising" role in the alliance government led by BJP in Maharashtra.
"Shiv Sena should think that BJP has more MLAs. They are right to demand some new portfolio. BJP can think about the Deputy Chief Minister post for Shiv Sena. Fadnavis has clarified that he will be the chief minister for five years. That's why Shiv Sena should take the compromising role," he said.
The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance won an absolute majority in the Maharashtra assembly polls with the former emerging as the single largest party in the state with 105 seats. Shiv Sena, on the other hand, bagged 56 seats in the elections.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut again reiterated his party's stand on the 50-50 formula for government formation in Maharashtra and said that they will continue pressing for their demand.
"We will not step back from our stand. If anyone has gone back on their promise, it is our ally. We will continue to move forward with our demand", he said.
After the polls, Shiv Sena has been adamant about the implementation of the 50:50 formula proposed by BJP during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The formula is a rotational arrangement in which a Chief Minister from each party will split the five-year term equally.