Uddhav Thackeray As Chief Minister, Insist NCP, Congress: Sources

Maharashtra Government Formation: Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thackeray met NCP chief Sharad Pawar late Thursday night.

The Sena has been desperately waiting for the NCP and Congress to make up their mind.

Mumbai: Uddhav Thackeray should be chief minister of a Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance government in Maharashtra, leaders insisted at a meeting in Mumbai of the three parties on Friday. Sources say the Sena chief is under pressure from the NCP and the Congress to take the top post, but he has suggested other names. At a midnight meeting with Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had said that there would be consensus in the alliance only if the Sena chief agreed to be chief minister. Sources say Uddhav Thackeray said he would "get back" to him after consulting his MLAs. The alliance talks picked up pace after Congress president Sonia Gandhi gave her approval to partnering the ideologically incompatible Sena.

Here are the top 10 updates on Maharashtra government formation:

  1. Sources say NCP and Congress leaders have told Uddhav Thackeray that his takeover as chief minister would tackle any dissent in his party. There is general agreement that the Sena will keep the chief minister's post for the full five-year term.

  2. Sanjay Raut, asked whether Sharad Pawar had suggested his name for chief minister, said: "This is incorrect. People of Maharashtra want Uddhav Thackeray as the Chief Minister."

  3. Besides Uddhav Thackeray, the other name in circulation for the chief minister's post is that of Sena leader Eknath Shinde. A role for Shiv Sena's first-time MLA Aaditya Thackeray, 29, the first of the Thackeray clan to ever contest polls, was reportedly also discussed in last night's meeting. The NCP and the Congress expect key ministries and the Deputy Chief Minister's posts.

  4. The three parties, with their vastly different election manifestos, are also discussing a common minimum agenda that will accommodate everyone's priorities and concerns. 

  5. The alliance has tentatively been named the "Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (Maharashtra development front)", which is meant to signal that the focus is on development.

  6. Reports suggest the Sena, a pro-Hindutva party, is not amenable to including the term "secular" in the common minimum agenda as the Congress had demanded. 

  7. The Sena ended its alliance with the BJP, its partner for over three decades, over its demand for equal share in power including rotational chief ministership. Uddhav Thackeray last Monday also called Sonia Gandhi and requested her party's support.

  8. After sitting on the Shiv Sena's request for support for more than a week, the Congress met with the NCP on Wednesday, hours after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar fueled intense speculation. The PM-Pawar meeting, alongside PM Modi's praise for NCP in parliament, was seen to have rattled the Congress.

  9. There have been reports that the BJP made overtures to Mr Pawar - his 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 is on offer.

  10. Maharashtra was placed under President's Rule last week after no party could produce letters of support to prove their majority.



Highlights

  • NCP and Congress expect key ministries and Deputy Chief Minister's post
  • All parties agreed that Sena will keep chief ministership for 5 years
  • Eknath Shinde is a contender for chief minister besides Uddhav Thackeray
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