Senior Thackeray may take over as CM of Maharashtra on Sunday ?
NEW DELHI /MUMBAI : Uddhav Thackeray may take over as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra and lead the unthinkable Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance, which tentatively calls itself the ” development front”, sources indicated on Thursday.
The decision on government formation in Maharashtra will be announced in Mumbai on Friday, the sources said.Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan today said there is complete unanimity between his party and alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). where government formation in the state is concerned.
The Congress Working Committee today reviewed the political scenario in Maharashtra, a day after it held a marathon meeting with the NCP on forming an alliance together with Shiv Sena to form a government in the state.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal told the media after a meeting at party chief Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence that the CWC was briefed on the discussion between NCP and Congress on Wednesday and a final decision on Maharashtra is expected by tomorrow.
The CWC, the sources said, has broadly agreed to go ahead with government formation with Shiv Sena and the NCP. Another meeting between Congress and NCP is to happen Thursday night and a final meeting with Shiv Sena will happen Friday in Mumbai.
Whether the Sena chief will keep his chief ministership for five years or agree to hand over to the NCP after half-term is among the details that are still not ironed out. The Shiv Sena made it clear that it wants Uddhav Thackeray for the entire term, without any rotational arrangement.
A common minimum programme(CMP) that can accommodate the vastly different agendas of the Sena and the Congress will also be discussed tomorrow as the three parties try to find a way of collaborating for the first time.
According to sources the common agenda of the new alliance will stress on farmers and jobs and the Shiv Sena’s subsidised food plan.
The three parties have decided “in principle” to get together but two sticking points remain.
The Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut said letters of support from the MLAs of all three parties will be handed over to the Governor on Saturday. he said. Sources in the Sena and NCP say “if all goes well, a swearing in ceremony will take place on Sunday or Monday.”
This morning, as the Congress Working Committee leaders asked the party chief to consider the “changed circumstances” in Maharashtra after the Shiv Sena ended its alliance with the BJP and requested the Congress and NCP’s support. The greater enemy in the fight against communalism is the BJP, the Congress chief was told.
The 45-minute PM-Pawar meeting delivered a pointed message to the Congress to quit stalling. Reports that the BJP is pursuing Mr Pawar’s support – the NCP is only two seats behind the Shiv Sena and can help the BJP cross the majority mark in Maharashtra — and that the President’s post for the veteran is also on the table may have also galvanised the Congress.
Meanwhile, the grand old party has insisted that the new tie-up focus on the word ‘secularism’ in the face of differing ideologies of the parties. Ahead of a meeting at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s Delhi residence today, the Congress says the tie-up should have no communal agenda and the Sena has reportedly assured the party that it is “truly liberal”.
(With Inputs from Mumbai Bureau)