Cong set to engage in hard bargain with NCP over portfolios | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Cong set to engage in hard bargain with NCP over portfolios

mumbai Updated: Oct 16, 2009 13:50 IST

Congress in Maharashtra may renegotiate the formula of sharing of ministerial berths with ally NCP in case the combine returns to power in the state where Assembly polls were held last week.

Since 1999, when both parties first came together to form a coalition government, Congress-NCP combine followed predecessor Shiv Sena-BJP coalition model of sharing ministerial berths.

Under the arrangement, Congress took all portfolios which were handled by the Sena while NCP got the BJP's ministries.

After ten years of allowing key portfolios like home, finance and power among others to be handled by the NCP, the Lok Sabha election success in May this year has prompted the Congress to rethink the allocation of ministries in the state.

A senior union minister while informally interacting with the media last week had said that the Congress made a mistake in allowing NCP to take away important ministries.

"In 2004, we had to part with two cabinet berths to keep the chief minister's post when the NCP got just two more seats than us. A chief minister without key departments like home and finance will be on a weak footing," the minister said on the condition of anonymity.

The results of Maharashtra Assembly polls will be announced on October 22.