The UPA-led new government in the 15th Lok Sabha would be formed in two stages with the second swearing-in ceremony being held for some more cabinet ministers as well as Minister of States four days from now.
Congress with its 206 members has emerged far stronger in the new alliance and the allies too are pushing their luck to strike a hard bargain. The DMK, Trinamool (TMC) and the National Conference (NC) are not very happy with the offer made by the Congress. Hectic parleys are on to pacify the allies.
With the top cabinet line up more or less decided, the negotiations have now shifted to the remaining portfolios and MoS posts. Here too allies and Congress are locked in tough negotiations as to who gets what and who corners MoS with independent charge.
The single largest party in alliance Congress has to do a tight rope walk as NC leader Farooq Abdullah as well as many of its own party MPs including the young Turks have been excluded from the first list. From Congress Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot and Jitin Prasada are strong contenders for a ministerial berth. While Praful Patel of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is tipped to retain the high profile civil aviation ministry.