NEW DELHI :
In a crucial breakthrough over government formation in Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Friday said that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will lead the next alliance government in the state. Pawar’s comments came in the backdrop of the first formal meeting in Mumbai on Friday between the three political parties – Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP – which have made a joint pitch to power in the state.
“Uddhav Thackeray to lead Maharashtra government," a tweet by Press Trust of India on Friday evening said quoting Pawar. It added that Pawar said there was consensus on the Sena leader to lead the government and that the meeting as of 7PM on Friday was still going on to discuss other issues over government formation.
The development is significant as it could pave way for government formation in the state after facing a political deadlock for nearly a month now. Counting of votes in the state had taken place on 24 October but talks between pre-poll allies Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena fell through over the latter’s demand on chief ministerial post, even if rotational.
“Talks were fruitful. The meeting is still going and we are discussing a number of issues. We will come back to you (media) once there is more clarity," Thackeray told reporters after stepping out of the meeting in Mumbai on Friday evening. He was accompanied by his son Aditya Thackeray while exiting the meeting.
According to people aware of developments, the three parties could hold a press conference in Mumbai on Saturday to give more details over the contours of the alliance, power-sharing formula, a common minimum programme and the division of ministerial posts.
In the assembly polls, the BJP won 105 seats and Shiv Sena 56, while the Congress-NCP combine won 98 seats. If the three non-BJP parties do come together to form government, Congress and NCP will return to power after a gap of five years.