Have a deputy chief minister each for five years, Shiv Sena tells NCP-Congress

Updated: Nov 15, 2019, 07:32 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Insiders said that a formula for sharing power in the khichdi government was being worked out to have a balanced representation for all constituents.

Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray

Negotiations are said to be moving forward in the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress camps albeit with a sense of mistrust because the Sena hasn't yet snapped ties with the BJP. It said on Thursday that they were not against Narendra Modi, but despised Amit Shah for 'speaking lies' on the assurance of the CM's post. Another factor that has added to the confusion is the pressure tactics of the Congress and NCP who have upped their ante for further gain in a prospective government.

Insiders said that a formula for sharing power in the khichdi government was being worked out to have a balanced representation for all constituents. Though Sena's demand for having the CM's post for five years remains a bone of contention, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party is confident that it should be able to fulfil its dream if NCP and Congress get a deputy CM each, with lucrative portfolios at their disposal.

mid-day couldn't confirm the information independently but senior leaders privy to the deliberations endorsed it saying that such a proposal was on the agenda. Sena chief was in a meeting with trusted associates past Wednesday midnight.

MahaSharad Pawar

The events that led to a President's rule in the state have made Sena extra cautious. Thackeray has stopped relying on NCP boss Sharad Pawar who had been in control since October 24. The Sena chief has instead established direct contact with Congress leadership, which after much persuasions and threats from within the party, has showed its willingness to support the Sena. This development might lead to discomfort in the NCP camp, a source said.

Who gets what?

According to the formula that has been floated primarily by the Sena, the right-wingers will get the CM's post for five years. This is expected to be countered by NCP which wants the post shared between the parties that have almost same numbers. If NCP gets the deputy post, then its legislative party leader Ajit Pawar is tipped as a candidate who would also get the all-important home department. If Congress agrees to the deputy post, it would have to decide between many senior leaders. Party insiders, however, said the post was expected to go to state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat who had headed revenue department. Thorat could get revenue charge again. Sena wants to keep urban development and finance. The NCP and Congress met Thursday again and later together held discussions with Sena's legislative party leader Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai.

MahaSonia Gandhi

As far as the number of ministerial berths are concerned, a ratio of one berth per four legislators has been proposed for sharing a 43-member council of ministers (including CM).

Sena CM question intact

But a question that Sena faces is about the CM candidate. Will Uddhav Thackrey agree to lead the state if he doesn't zero in on a proper person owing to internal tussle?

MahaVijay Wadettiwar, Prithviraj Chavan, Eknath Shinde, Jayant Patil, Subhash Desai, Manikrao Thakre, Nawab Malik and Chhagan Bhujbal at a meeting at the Trident, BKC, on Thursday

Sena MP Sanjay Raut, back from the hospital after his angioplasty, has come down heavily on BJP president Amit Shah who broke his silence on Wednesday. Shah has dismissed the Sena's demand for CM's post, saying that no such proposal was discussed in February. However, Raut said the Sena respected PM Narendra Modi who has been kept in the dark over the Sena's demand. He suspected that some people were trying to spoil good relations between Uddhav and PM.

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