Sena CM for 5 yrs: Raut amid Maharashtra govt formation talks with Cong, NCP
The Shiv Sena will get the chief minister’s post in Maharashtra for a full term of five years, its senior leader Sanjay Raut said on Friday ahead of another round of talks with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress to stake a claim to power in the state.
“Shiv Sena CM will be there for the full five years and leaders of all the three parties have agreed on it. Maharashtra will see a strong government led by the Shiv Sena,” Sanjay Raut said while speaking to reporters.
Raut’s comments came after Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray held talks with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar till midnight on Thursday to give final touches to the new alliance of the two parties along with the Congress in Maharashtra.
Thackeray, according to party insiders, indicated to Pawar that he is not ready to share the chief minister’s post with the NCP during the meeting that lasted more than an hour.
The Sena chief had gone to Pawar’s residence Silver Oak in south Mumbai along with son Aaditya and Sanjay Raut.
Raut reiterated that they want Uddhav Thackeray to be the chief minister of Maharashtra once the three parties come together to form the government. He dismissed that his name is being suggested by Pawar as Maharashtra’s chief minister.
Also Watch l Sena, NCP & Cong to meet on Friday to discuss Maharashtra govt formation
The Sena leader also categorically denied that there was any “offer” from its former ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“There is no offer. The time for offers has ended,” Raut said adding that it won’t side with the BJP even if they offer Indra’s throne to the Sena.
“People of Maharashtra want Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to become the CM,” he added.
The Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress will hold another round of talks on Friday to thrash out the details of their alliance and their effort to form a government in the politically-crucial western state after similar meetings on Thursday.
Leaders of the three parties including Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge will meet in Mumbai on Friday, Raut said.
It is likely that the new alliance could be declared by the end of the day.
The BJP and Sena, which fought the assembly elections in Maharashtra together, fell out over the chief minister’s position and equal distribution of portfolios, ending a three-decade-old alliance.
The state plunged into political uncertainty soon after the October 24 assembly election results threw up a hung House, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at 105 seats, the Sena at 56, the NCP at 54 and the Congress at 44. Independents and smaller parties won 29 seats.
Governor BS Koshyari invited the BJP, Sena and NCP, respectively, but no party could prove a majority within the prescribed deadline.
Maharashtra was placed under President’s Rule on November 12 after the governor told the Centre that no party was in a position to form the government in the state.
The three parties have finalised a draft common minimum programme (CMP) focusing on farmers, unemployment, education and health care.
The three-page draft CMP, which HT has accessed, is likely to act as the backbone of negotiations between the three parties at a key meeting in Mumbai on Friday, senior leaders from all three parties indicated.
The CMP is likely to be discussed at Friday’s meeting, which is also expected to take up possible distribution of ministerial portfolios and the chief minister’s position, the leaders added.