Cong-NCP ministry 23:20 formula to stay | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Cong-NCP ministry 23:20 formula to stay

mumbai Updated: Nov 17, 2010 14:57 IST
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Against the backdrop of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's demand for additional portfolio for NCP in the Maharashtra ministry, top leaders of Congress and its ally met Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar at his residence in South Mumbai on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre, Mumbai unit president Kripashankar Singh met Pawar along with Ajit Pawar, state NCP chief Madhukar Pichad. Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel was also present.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Patel said the swearing-in of ministers would take place on Thursday.

Indicating that the old formula of 23:20 would stay, Patel said in the last one year, Congress and NCP had run the government without any hiccups.

"The change in government at this juncture had taken place in certain circumstances and hence there is no need for any other change," he added.

Patel said there were no differences between the two coalition partners over government formation.

Last week, nine NCP ministers along with Prithviraj Chavan and Ajit Pawar had taken oath of office and secrecy after Ashok Chavan was asked to step down from Chief Ministership over his alleged involvement in the Adarsh housing scam.

On Tuesday, Ajit Pawar demanded that his party have 21 ministers instead of 20. "Last year, our demand was not met and we backed out to ensure smooth government formation. But, this time we will persist with the demand," he had said.

However, Congress had ruled out any change in the formula for ministerial allocation. The strength of the Maharashtra cabinet is 43.