Mumbai / New Delhi. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said on Friday that there was agreement in the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance that Uddhav Thackeray would be headed by the new Maharashtra government. Pawar’s announcement comes after the meetings of Congress, NCP and his pre-election coalition partners and all three parties. At the same time, Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde who attended the meeting said separately on the question made about Pawar’s statement on Thackeray’s leadership that there was no discussion on the issue.
Emerging from a long meeting of top leaders of Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena, Pawar said that there was agreement on Thackeray’s leadership. After the meeting at the Nehru Center in Worli, Pawar said that other issues were under discussion. The NCP chief said, the leadership issue is no longer pending. There was no opinion of 2 types for the post of Chief Minister. It has been agreed that Uddhav Thackeray heads the new government.
Asked if Uddhav Thackeray would be the Chief Minister, Pawar replied, you do not understand Hindi. The new government will be led by Uddhav Thackeray. Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde, who attended the meeting, told a separate question about Pawar’s statement on Thackeray’s leadership that there was no discussion on the issue. The former Union Minister said, when everything is decided then a press conference will be held tomorrow.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said after the meeting that talks between the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena on forming a government in Maharashtra are inconclusive and the discussion will continue on Saturday. Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said that talks between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena were positive and they have reached many conclusions.
Chavan said, the conversation will continue tomorrow. The discussion between the Congress and the NCP ended in New Delhi yesterday and the general position was agreed upon. Chavan refrained from giving a direct answer to the question on Pawar’s statement of forming a government under Thackeray and only said that everything he said was on record. After coming out of the meeting, Thackeray said that the talks were satisfactory.
He said, (on government formation) the negotiations are going in the right direction. Important aspects are being discussed. After everything is decided, the three parties will come before you. The meeting was attended by Eknath Shinde, Subhash Desai, Sanjay Raut from Shiv Sena, Ahmed Patel from Congress, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal, Avinash Pandey, Bala Saheb Thorat, Prithviraj Chavan and Praful Patel, Jayant Patil, Ajit Pawar from NCP.
Elections were held on October 21 for the 288 seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and the results came on October 24. President’s rule was imposed on November 12 in the state because of no claim of any party or coalition to form government. There has been a political crisis in the state since the break-up of the 30-year-old alliance with the BJP to demand the post of Chief Minister of Shiv Sena.
The BJP and Shiv Sena contested assembly elections in the state and the coalition got a majority, in which BJP got 105 seats and Shiv Sena 56 seats. The NCP and the Congress contested the alliance and won 54 and 44 seats respectively. Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress seats are 154 which is 145 more than the majority.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said here that even if the Shiv Sena receives a proposal for the throne of Lord Indra, it will not go with the BJP. Raut said that when the three-party alliance with Congress and NCP comes to power, his party will get the post of Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
There was speculation that the BJP was ready to share the chief minister’s post with the Shiv Sena. On the question about this, Raut said, “The time for proposals is over now.” The people of Maharashtra want to see Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray becoming Chief Minister.