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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Maharashtra govt formation: The clearest picture so far

Maharashtra is getting its government in November, but the constituents of that regime will be finalised today by the Shiv Sena, NCP and INC

While the Shiv Sena, NCP and INC leaders are slated to speak to the media this evening, mutually contradictory statements by leaders in the three parties refuse to cease. Both NCP and INC have no objection to the Maharashtra chief minister’s post going to the Shiv Sena, but Sanjay Raut of the Sena says it will be for the whole of the five-year term — with one deputy chief minister each from NCP and INC — while MLAs of the party are not satisfied merely with the top post; they want a lion’s share in the portfolio allocation.

The INC is almost sure to have the Speaker but the NCP has not given up on that position yet.

Ajit Pawar could be the deputy chief minister, as he was between 2009 and 2014, but Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar’s daughter and heir apparent, is eyeing that post, too.

Balasaheb Thorat could be the deputy chief minister from the INC.

Interestingly, while the Shiv Sena wanted its previous ally BJP to let Aaditya Thackeray be the chief minister, now it has agreed to the demand of both NCP and Congress that Uddhav Thackeray must occupy the highest post.

While the NCP wanted to have its own chief minister in the second half of the term, the Shiv Sena did not agree to it due to the concession of two deputy chief ministers that it had already ceded to its new allies.

In that event, home, finance and revenue ministries are going to the NCP and INC.

There is a meeting of Shiv Sena MLAs going on and one of INC’s lawmakers is slated to happen later today, after which the INC and NCP will meet Uddhav Thackeray with their respective final proposals.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari is supposed to be in Delhi on 22 and 23 November. On his return to Mumbai the next day, the Shiv Sena, NCP and INC will approach him with the formula of forming the Maharashtra government.

Thereafter, Koshyari will convey their message to the President who, in turn, will relay the message to the Narendra Modi Cabinet where the decision to end the President’s rule in Maharashtra will be taken.

In the meantime, the Shiv Sena got a shot in the arm today, wresting the post of Mayor of Mumbai, as its candidate Kishori Pednekar got elected unchallenged by any rival candidate.

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