(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party will share power to govern India’s richest state of Maharashtra, a senior party member said, a day after the chief minister resigned following a rebellion by lawmakers of his own party.
More than half the legislators of Uddhav Thackeray’s right-wing Shiv Sena have exited his ruling coalition claiming he has deviated from the party’s Hindu nationalist ideology after he snapped a three-decade tie with Modi’s BJP. Late Wednesday, Thackeray stepped down after the Supreme Court said he would have to prove his majority in the state legislature.
Eknath Shinde, who heads the Shiv Sena’s breakaway faction, will be the next chief minister of the state, Devendra Fadnavis, senior leader and a former BJP chief minister from Maharashtra told reporters in state capital Mumbai. An alliance will strengthen the BJP, giving it control of India’s second-most populous state ahead of national elections in 2024.
“Members of our party and the seniors in the parties that are supporting us will be given a chance to participate in this government,” Fadnavis said. “And there will be an expansion of the cabinet of ministers.” He gave few other details, except to say that Shinde will take oath of office later Thursday.
Control of Maharashtra will help Modi implement his push to attract foreign investment and revitalize the nation’s manufacturing base. The state is India’s highest revenue contributor, adding 19% to the country’s goods and services tax collections, according to government estimates. It is the largest contributor to the nation’s gross domestic product.
Maharashtra, that has attracted the major share of India’s foreign direct investment -- 28% of the total since October 2019, sends 48 lawmakers to the 545-member lower house of federal parliament, the second highest among states. Its state capital of Mumbai, a city of 20 million people, is home to companies such as Reliance Industries Ltd. and Tata Group, India’s two main stock markets, and the country’s film industry.
The BJP-Shiv Sena combine won the majority in the 288-member assembly after state polls in October 2019. However, the alliance ended after differences over government formation. The Shiv Sena was able to form a coalition government with the regional Nationalist Congress Party, India’s main opposition Congress party, and several other smaller groups.
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