Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is the consensus candidate for the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister, announced NCP chief Sharad Pawar after the NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena meeting concluded Friday. After the meeting, Thackeray told reporters that the discussions amongst the parties were “fruitful”.
The three parties — Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena — will hold a press conference on Saturday and decide when to approach the Governor, said the NCP chief, ANI reported. “Discussions are continuing,” he added.
“Uddhav Thackeray’s name for CM was also discussed in the meeting, more talks will continue tomorrow,” Pawar said. He said the meeting at Nehru Centre in central Mumbai deliberated extensively on finalising an agenda for governance.
“We have made sure no issues are left untouched between the parties. We will announce everything tomorrow,” Uddhav Thackeray told reporters after the meeting in Mumbai.
Unwilling to disclose further, Uddhav said, “I don’t want to give you half information. When everything is decided all three of us will come before you and give all the information.”
However, Sena leader Sanjay Raut, said Thackeray has given his consent to become the chief minister, ANI reported.
Moments after the three parties concluded their meeting, Congress leader anf former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan along with NCP leader Praful Patel addressed the media saying there was complete agreement on all issues and parties reached a common consensus, adding that the discussions will continue tomorrow.
“Today the discussions were conducted in a positive manner,” Chavan said.
Earlier today, top leaders of the three parties met in Mumbai to give shape to the new government. Eknath Shinde, Subhash Desai, Sanjay Raut (all Shiv Sena), Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, K C Venugopal, Avinash Pande, Balasaheb Thorat, Prithviraj Chavan (Congress), Praful Patel, Jayant Patil and Ajit Pawar (NCP) took part in the meeting.
Meanwhile, opposing the three-party alliance in Maharashtra, BJP leader and Union minister Nitin Gadkari, earlier in the day, termed the alliance as “opportunistic”. “Opportunism is the base of their alliance. The three parties have become united with the only motto to keep the BJP out of power. I have doubts about whether this government will be formed… Even if it is formed, it will not last beyond six to eight months,” he said.
While top leaders of Sena-NCP-Congress held marathon meetings to decide the future of Maharashtra government, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court seeking to restrain the state Governor from inviting political parties Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress to form the government “against the people’s mandate” and to declare such formation as “unconstitutional”.
“The present petition seeks to stop the unholy alliance between three political parties which have all fought against each other but is trying to form government by joining hands thereby cheating the electoral mandate,” the plea said.
The state has been in a political soup for nearly a month, ever since the Assembly poll results were announced. Post the results, the Sena-BJP alliance broke up after the latter denied to share the chief ministerial post. The BJP and the Sena, which fought the Assembly polls in alliance, had secured a majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member Assembly.