MUMBAI: Even as the president’s rule was imposed in Maharashtra, the Congress and the NCP on Tuesday, tried to chart out ways to run the alliance government along with the Shiv Sena.
According to sources, while the NCP proposed equal distribution of posts and responsibilities, the Congress wanted to evolve a comprehensive formula for sharing of power before moving ahead.
The Congress contemplated the alliance government of three parties - the one where Shiv Sena will be in driving seat, the NCP will have the keys and the Congress will have an autonomous breaks system, said a prominent Congress leader while describing how his party looks at the possible sharing of power between the alliance.
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The Congress has put forth five key conditions while proposing one ministerial birth behind every four MLAs. According to this formula the Congress gets 11, Sena 14 and NCP gets 13 ministerial births. The five other posts will go to smaller allies, said the sources.
The other conditions include finalizing the common minimum program, having a coordination committee, finalizing a comprehensive formula on how to share the power in local bodies across the state including municipalities and municipal corporations and finalizing distribution of state-owned corporations among the three political parties.
Congress also resisted the idea of having anybody from the Thackeray family in the CM’s seat. Any “Thackeray” as a CM would have complete control over the government, the party feels ad hence wants to avoid that.
The NCP, on the other hand, proposed equal distribution of all the posts and responsibilities. Though party sources didn’t divulge many details, the equal distribution will mean rotational Chief Ministers and Dy Chief Ministers.
According to the formula, while one party enjoys the Chief Minister’s position the other two shall have their deputy Chief Ministers.
All the three parties however have already agreed on the common point that they are coming together for the welfare of the farmers and to keep the BJP away from the power.
While Shiv Sena didn’t react to the proposal, it is unlikely to accept the NCP proposal as it will have to compromise on the demand over which it moved away from the BJP.
While the Sena expects to get the Chief Minister’s post for full five years, according to the NCP formula it would get it only for 20 months or a lesser period.
Also, though the party leadership always maintained that it shall have party workers as a CM, the ambitions of Thackerays to occupy the top post are not hidden.
So, that part of Congress proposal too might be a problem within the prospective alliance.
After the meeting, the NCP and the Congress leaders addressed a common press conference and released a joint statement.
The statement said, “The Shiv Sena officially contacted the alliance on Monday, a broad discussion is needed on all aspects before making any decision on the issue. Any policy on further action on this shall be decided only after both the parties reach at a consensus.”
In nut-shell it meant “No alliance in haste”.
When asked about the timeline for the discussions, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, in an oblique reference to the president’s rule, said, “We now have six months.”
“No decision on alliance with Shiv Sena shall be made unless we have a clarity on how to run the government,” said senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
Uddhav Thackeray, who addressed the media at Hotel Retreat, made it clear that just like the Congress and NCP want clarity on how the alliance would be knit, the Shiv Sena too needed it.
“We had asked the governor to give us 48 hours for that. But, he is too generous. He gave us six months,” Thackeray said in an oblique reference to the governor’s decision to not grant them time for getting support letters from new allies as well as the decision to impose president’s rule.
He also criticized the BJP for levelling baseless and false charges against the Shiv Sena and personally against himself.
Thackeray chucked all questions pertaining to the Shiv Sena’s status within the NDA, whether the party is officially out of the NDA though its union minister has quit.
He also didn’t rule out the possibility of Sena returning to the original fold.