Maharashtra will have a new government on Saturday — after more than two weeks of uncertainty and bickering between the Congress and ally the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) over power-sharing.
Congress’ chief minister-designate Ashok Chavan and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal on Friday called on Governor S.C. Jamir and staked claim to form the government.
Chavan said the alliance enjoyed the support of 170 legislators including Independents and those from smaller parties. The allies won 144 of 288 seats.
The new cabinet headed by Chavan will take oath at 5.30 pm. Bhujbal will be sworn in as deputy CM.
However, confusion prevailed over the power-sharing deal. Chavan, who earlier in the day claimed that the Congress would get 23 and the NCP 20 berths in the 43-member ministry, told mediapersons at Raj Bhavan that no such formula had been finalised. “The number of Congress ministers has not been decided yet but 20 ministers of NCP will take oath.”
An NCP leader said the deal was to initially have 40 berths filled and decide on the remaining three later. Around 15 Congress ministers are likely to take oath on Saturday.