Mumbai, India - Nov. 26, 2019:Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress met Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. (HT PHOTO)
Mumbai, India - Nov. 26, 2019:Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress met Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. (HT PHOTO)

Sena, NCP, Congress learn from delay in forming government

After staking claim to form the government on Monday, the parties finalised the power-sharing formula in their meeting on Tuesday evening and are expected to swear-in their ministers in the next few days.
By Surendra P Gangan and Faisal Malik | Hindustan Times, Mumbai, Mumbai
UPDATED ON NOV 27, 2019 04:19 AM IST

From discussions for days to quick decisions – the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance seems to have learnt its lessons. Smarting from their experience of the political crisis in the state thanks to the delay in sealing the deal, the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi got its act together over the past three days.

After staking claim to form the government on Monday, the parties finalised the power-sharing formula in their meeting on Tuesday evening and are expected to swear-in their ministers in the next few days.

Hours after NCP chief Sharad Pawar announced on Friday evening that Uddhav Thackeray has been unanimously elected by three parties to head the government, the alliance leaders received a rude shock, as Devendra Fadnavis was sworn-in as the chief minister on Saturday morning.

A section of leaders from the Congress and the NCP feel the delay in finalising the deal gave an opportunity to the Bharatiya Janata Party to convince Ajit Pawar to join its government. The leaders also feel the distrust between the Congress and NCP, too, was one of the reasons behind the delay.

“The alliance has emerged stronger after the jolt it received on Saturday. The Congress, which took four weeks to hold a meeting to elect the legislative party leader, announced the appointment within two hours of the Supreme Court verdict on Tuesday. Similarly, the appointment of the deputy chief ministers of the two parties was finalised within minutes by the Congress and NCP. The sharing of the portfolios between the three parties, too, has almost been finalised.

“The earlier distrust between the two parties turned into greater amount of coordination between the Congress and NCP later,” said a senior Congress leader, who did not want to be named.

The crisis and unexpected jolt brought the three parties together as they realised the need to stick together if they had to counter the BJP.

“The Shiv Sena played a major role in keeping the MLAs in Mumbai. NCP MLA Sanjay Bansod was brought back by Shiv Sena leader from near the airport on Saturday. It was indicative of the bonhomie between the three parties. The Congress took the responsibility of the battle in the Supreme Court, while the Sena and NCP shouldered the responsibility to keep the flock together in Mumbai,” he said.

An NCP leader said they had sensed the possibility of the BJP trying to derail the plan of the government formation by the alliance, if the Fadnavis government failed to prove the majority. “We immediately decided to go to the Raj Bhavan and submit the list of signatures of the MLAs with the alliance,” he said.

After the Supreme Court verdict, the leadership of the three parties — Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress — were confident that they will now be able to clear the floor test supposed to be held on Wednesday. In a meeting called to discuss the coalition strategy for the confidence motion in the state Assembly at Hotel Sofitel in Bandra Kurla Complex, the NCP chief also declared that the Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be the chief minister for next five years, said a NCP insider.

“Pawar saheb made it clear that Uddhav Thackeray should be the chief minister of the new government and that too for full five-year tenure,” said an NCP insider, who was part of the meeting.

“This is for the first time the NCP chief said in a tone like he is giving his verdict which everyone has to follow. It was done to ensure that no time should be wasted again on who will be the chief minister and government can be formed as early as possible,” added the leader.

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