Shiv Sena MLAs want only Uddhav Thackeray as Maharashtra CM
Insiders said NCP chief Sharad Pawar had proposed Sanjay Raut. Other names in the Sena camp are Eknath Shinde and veteran Subhash Desai.
Shiv Sena legislators who met party chief on Friday want Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister in the three-party government of which the two other constituents would be the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Insiders said NCP chief Sharad Pawar had proposed Sanjay Raut, Sena's MP and party's voice that led the attack against the BJP and worked as mediator between the three parties. The suggestion came at Pawar's meeting with Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thursday midnight.
However, when the Sena legislators and supporting MLAs gathered at the party chief's Kalanagar residence Matoshree on Friday morning , the collective voice preferred Uddhav as the head of the new government. Other names in the Sena camp are Eknath Shinde, who was selected leader of legislative party. Shinde, a Maratha, has emerged as the second choice after Uddhav.
Veteran Subhash Desai's name is also doing the rounds. And Aaditya might not get the job because of juniority despite being the first among the Thackeray family to get into electoral politics. All said and done, Uddhav would hold a veto to decide the party's CM nominee because he told the meeting that he had promised his father late Bal Thackeray to make a shiv sainik the CM. In 1995, Manohar Joshi was asked to lead the party's coalition with BJP. Later, Narayan Rane was given the nod. The late Sena founder was happy to wield a remote control. Uddhav might be expected to do the same instead of leading the government directly.
The moves to form a government gained momentum on Friday after the Congress and NCP decided to get into the three-corner formation. The Congress MLAs will meet in Mumbai on Friday to elect their legislative party leader. But in all probability, the Congress high command would be given the sole right to decide the name who would also be the choice for deputy chief minister's post that goes to the party.
Senior Congress leaders from Delhi would arrive in Mumbai on Friday to hold discussions with party MLAs and then confer with NCP and smaller allies. The Congress and NCP would later meet Sena leaders including Uddhav.
Insiders said the governor might not be approached on Friday itself for staking the claim to form the government because fine-tuning, nitty-gritty would take a few more days. There is possibility of sending Sena MLAs to a safe place, either in Maharashtra or other states like Rajasthan where the Congress had kept its flock.
'We don't want anything from BJP'
Talking about BJP's latest offer that Sena should keep the CMO for the first 30 months and also share 50% berths in the council of ministers instead of going with the Congress and NCP, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said his party wouldn't want the Indra's singhasan (the throne of king of Gods) even if offered now.
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