Two weeks after Uddhav Thackeray took oath as the Chief Minister, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition government in Maharashtra finally seems to have come to an understanding on portfolio distribution. An announcement in this regard is expected to be made soon.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar met Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday evening to finalise the power-sharing agreement between the three parties. Balasaheb Thorat, president of the Maharashtra Congress, was also present on the occasion.
According to sources, the Shiv Sena - of which Uddhav Thackeray is the chief - will get the Home and Urban Development portfolios as part of the arrangement while Finance and Housing will go to the Sharad Pawar-led NCP. The Congress is expected to get the Revenue portfolio.
It was not clear who would get the Public Works Department (PWD), another coveted portfolio that was expected to cause some friction in the alliance.
The BJP and Shiv Sena had contested the polls together and won a majority in the November assembly elections, but cracks began emerging in the alliance after Uddhav Thackeray refused to play second fiddle and demanded rotational chief ministership. The Shiv Sena walked out of the 30-year-old alliance after the BJP refused to budge, joining hands with the Congress and the NCP.
After a period of hectic political activity during which the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis swore in as the Chief Minister and resigned days later, 59-year-old Uddhav Thackeray finally took oath along with six ministers in a star-studded ceremony at Mumbai's Shivaji Park on November 28. However, the question of portfolio allocation continued to hang ominously over the alliance.
Sources said the Shiv Sena and the NCP were still in discussions over some aspects of the Urban Development and Home portfolios, but the differences were likely to be ironed out soon.