Union minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Friday said there was no deal between his party and the Shiv Sena over the equal distribution of portfolios, including sharing the post of chief minister.
The assertion by Gadkari indicates the BJP is not budging from its stand of not sharing the chief minister's post with ally Shiv Sena, making any headway for the government formation bleak.
Gadkari, who arrived in Mumbai on Friday, had initially indicated he will not intervene to break the deadlock between his party and the Shiv Sena over sharing of power in Maharashtra.
Gadkari's visit triggered speculation in political circles that he may step in to break the fortnight-long BJP-Sena logjam over sharing the chief minister's post, which is delaying government formation in the state.
However, Gadkari said, "I am not meeting any politician today. I am here to attend a public function today evening."
It is unclear whether the Union minister would attend a core committee meeting of Maharashtra BJP leaders scheduled on Friday at the official residence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Earlier, Gadkari had said he was not coming back to Maharashtra politics, putting to rest rumours that he might become the CM.
The senior BJP leader, however, had stressed that the BJP should get the post of the chief minister because it has won more seats than the Shiv Sena.
The Sena, however, has claimed Fadnavis had in February said that "all the portfolios will be equally shared" between the BJP and Shiv Sena.
Fadnavis and the BJP have denied agreeing to split the chief minister's post and equal distribution of portfolios between the saffron allies.
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the October 21 Assembly polls winning 105 seats, and its ally Shiv Sena, distant second largest with 56 seats, have not staked claim to form a government together or separately till now.
The two parties, which contested the election under the banner of 'Mahayuti', are bickering over a 50:50 power-sharing formula since October 24, when the poll results were out.
The NCP and the Congress won 54 and 44 seats, respectively, in the election to the 288-member assembly where the majority mark is 145.