Senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, who will be Maharashtra's new Deputy Chief Minister, today said he had the full backing of his colleague Ajit Pawar, who was said to be the front-runner for the post.
Talking to reporters after his name was announced by Union civil aviation minister Praful Patel as the leader of the NCP legislature party, Bhujbal said Ajit, nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, was present at the meeting which unanimously passed a resolution authorising Pawar (Sharad) to appoint the new leader.
"When Pawar told the state leaders to discuss the issue among themselves and make the announcement, Ajit supported me," Bhujbal said.
When asked about the portfolio allocation, Bhujbal said NCP would demand implementation of 1999 formula. "We have yet to get an official proposal from the Congress on the portfolio allocation and hence we will not be able to comment," he said when asked about Congress' demand for important portfolios like Home, Finance and Power, previously held by NCP.
Bhujbal said people of the state had voted for the coalition to keep fundamentalist forces away.
"We have to fulfil their aspirations and concentrate on upgrading the infrastructure and basic amenities for the common man," he added.