Maharashtra govt formation: NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena alliance in final stage
Modalities have been finalised on the formation of the government in Maharashtra between the Congress, Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and all the three parties have, in principle, agreed upon ministerial berths according to their strength in the assembly, sources said on Thursday.
The Common Minimum Programme (CMP) between Congress and NCP has been sealed and will be discussed with the Shiv Sena in Mumbai on Friday, sources added.
Currently, Congress and NCP, sources said, are discussing the possible names to be inducted in ministerial berths.
The name of the alliance is expected to be finalised in today's meeting between Congress and NCP leaders. The convener of the alliance is also slated to be finalised by Friday in Mumbai, they added.
Earlier today, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting was held at party interim president Sonia Gandhi's 10 Janpath residence. Several senior leaders including Malikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel, AK Antony and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had attended the meeting.
"We have apprised the CWC members of the latest political situation in Maharashtra. Today, Congress-NCP discussion will continue. I think, tomorrow, we will probably have a decision in Mumbai," Congress leader KC Venugopal told reporters after the CWC meet.
On Wednesday, Congress leaders including Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh and Mallikarjun Kharge had briefed party interim president Sonia Gandhi about their meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar. After briefing Gandhi, the three Congress leaders again returned to Pawar's residence.
Sources said that during the course of Wednesday's meetings, the Congress and NCP leaders also held talks with Shiv Sena leadership over the phone and got a positive response.
They also added that as part of the coalition government, a sharing formula of 2.5 years each between the Shiv Sena and NCP for the chief minister seat has been approved while Congress will be given the deputy chief minister's seat.
Maharashtra came under President's Rule on November 12 after all the parties failed to form a government in the state. The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the Chief Minister's post and equal sharing of Cabinet berths.
Shiv Sena parted its ways with BJP to explore ways to form a government. It, however, failed to prove the support of the required number of MLAs in the time given by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
The Governor had then invited NCP, the third-largest party, to prove its ability to form the government failing which President's Rule was imposed in the state.
The Shiv Sena is now holding talks with the Congress and NCP to form a government in Maharashtra.
The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.