Uddhav Thackeray in, but power struggles continue
NCP and Shiv Sena in a tussle over chief minister's post as well as home department portfolio.
He may have taken oath as chief minister on Thursday, but Uddhav Thackeray has not entered full-swing into his role yet, he said on Friday. He still felt like going to Mantralaya to submit a memorandum, he said. Also, the hard bargain by NCP is expected to give the new CM a false start and make the future of the Maha Vikas Aghadi unpredictable. The two parties have been re-negotiating unsuccessfully on sharing the CM's post and the all-crucial home department.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi will sit in its first legislative session today for three days to prove a majority and also elect the Assembly speaker. Sources said that it was decided to give the NCP home department but now the Sena wants the all-important law and order office to be shared on a rotational basis. To counter this, the NCP has put forward a proposal that the CM's post should also be rotated between the two parties, and it should be given the charge of CMO in the last 30 months with a condition that the Sena would keep home department when NCP has its MLA as the head of state.
Twisting matters further, the Congress has asked for urban development (UD) or finance for its senior members who have been the CMs. But Uddhav wants to keep UD with him while NCP is interested in finance and rural development. Two days ago, the Congress had agreed to give up demanding DCM in exchange of Speaker's post, but now has backtracked. The 44-MLA party also wants DCM for vacating its claim to Speaker's seat and had demanded one more Cabinet berth in the 43-member council of ministers. A ratio of one minister per four MLAs has been decided by the MVA.
Uddhav Thackeray being greeted with a puja thali at the Mantralaya
Demand for change of speaker
Turning the tables on BJP on Friday, the MVA asked for changing a pro-tem Speaker who had administered oath of office to MLAs following the Supreme Court directive. The Governor accepted the recommendation for replacing BJP's Kalidas Kolamkar with former speaker Dilip Walse Patil (NCP) who will conduct the proceedings before the new Speaker comes in. The Governor will address a joint sitting of the lower and upper houses before the session ends on Monday. A full session will be held in Nagpur from the second week of December.
Former CM Devendra Fadnavis called the move an attempt to prove the majority secretly. "In the first cabinet meeting of new government on Thursday they chose to discuss how to prove majority secretly, instead of discussing assistance and relief can be given to farmers suffering from unseasonal rains," he said in a statement. He said further that if the government had a majority then they shouldn't call the house secretly.
"Why are there efforts to change the pro-tem Speaker which is going against the rules? Why do they still doubt their own MLAs so much? Why are they still hiding them?" said ex-CM. He said when the BJP has already announced to sit in the opposition and Maha Vikas Aaghadi has made so many claims that they have full majority, that too exhibiting in different ways, "why this secrecy and fear?"
No. of members in the new government's council of ministers
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