1999 formula is not sacrosanct: MPCC

Last Updated: Friday, October 30, 2009 - 19:02

Mumbai: Amid continuing deadlock over
government formation after the Congress-NCP alliance stormed
to power in the state for the third time in a row, the
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Friday said the
1999 formula of portfolio-sharing, as demanded by its ally,
was not "sacrosanct".

MPCC spokesman Hussain Dalwai told reporters that the
portfolio sharing deal worked out ten years ago was done
according to the circumstances prevailing at that time.
"It was not decided that the formula will continue after
subsequent elections," he said.

"NCP demanded three more portfolios after they won two
more seats than us in 2004. A deal is being worked out which
is honourable to both the parties. NCP is our partner and a
decision will be arrived at through consensus," Dalwai said.

Under the 1999 formula, the chief minister was to be of
the Congress and his deputy of NCP, while the two partners in
the ruling coalition had 21 ministers each. Key ministries
like home, finance and power went to the NCP.
The issue was being discussed at the High Command level
of the two parties, he said, adding a final decision would be
made before the "requisite time". The term of the outgoing
Legislative Assembly ends on November three.

The Congress has won 82 seats, while the NCP emerged
victorious at 62 places in the Assembly elections this month.
The tally of Congress last time was 69 and that of NCP 71 in
the 288-member House. The state can have 42 ministers.

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, October 30, 2009 - 19:02

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