Sena, NCP, Congress to finalise power-sharing pact for Maharashtra cabinet soon
The three major parties in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi are expected finalise their power-sharing pact in the next two-three days until the swearing-in ceremony is held on November 28.
While Uddhav Thackeray will lead the government as the chief minister (CM), the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) each will have a deputy chief minister in the cabinet.
The Congress and NCP have appointed Balasaheb Thorat and Jayant Patil respectively as their legislative party leaders and both are expected to be the deputy chief ministers. The NCP has not yet revealed whether Ajit Pawar would be a minister in the cabinet.
The parties have not finalised the number of ministerial berths to be shared between them.
Shiv Sena, which has the highest number of seats (56) among the three parties, is expected to get 14 to 15 ministerial berths besides the chief ministership. Congress may get 13 berths and the post of speaker in the Assembly, while NCP is likely to settle for 14-15 berths. The state government can have a maximum of 43 ministerial berths including the CM.
The power-sharing discussions between the three parties were in progress when the BJP staked a claim and formed the government under Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday. As the formalities of electing a leader and staking claim to form the government are now over, leaders of the three parties are expected to finalise the distribution of ministerial berths and portfolios.
The Shiv Sena is eyeing the urban development and finance portfolios in the new government and is also hoping to get industries, public works department, health department and school education departments. Congress is eyeing revenue, agriculture, social justice, housing, rural development while the NCP is vying for home, irrigation, tribal development and retain the post of chairman in the legislative council. Sena wants to keep the post of deputy chairman and deputy speaker with itself.
“We will soon come to know about the appointment of the deputy chief ministers and power-sharing between the three parties,” said Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab.
The names of probable faces in the state cabinet — a tough choice for all three parties considering the number of aspirants — are making the rounds. Senior Sena functionaries said some key leaders, including Eknath Shinde, Ravindra Waikar, Sanjay Rathod, Dada Bhuse, Gulabrao Patil and Tanaji Sawant, could be retained as ministers.
However, the party may not repeat Deepak Kesarkar, a minister in the previous government, as he was known to be close to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership. The party is still undecided on including Subhash Desai, a senior Sena leader and minister.
Besides Jayant Patil, the NCP is likely to induct Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dhananjay Munde, Anil Deshmukh, Jitendra Awhad, Nawab Malik and Makarand Patil in the cabinet. Congress may induct Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan, KC Padvi, Vijay Wadettiwar, Nana Patole, Varsha Gaikwad, Yashomati Thakur and Satej Patil in the cabinet.
Thackeray scion Aaditya, who won from Worli, is unlikely to be included as a minister, said a party functionary. The Sena is expected to include new faces in the government including Anil Parab, Abdul Sattar, Bhaskar Jadhav, Uday Samant, and Ashish Jaiswal.