Maharashtra: Cong-NCP ministry 23:20 formula to stay

The swearing-in of ministers would take place tommorrow.

Mumbai: Against the backdrop of Deputy
Chief Minister Ajit Pawar`s demand for additional portfolio
for NCP in the Maharashtra ministry, top leaders of Congress
and its ally met Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar at
his residence in South Mumbai Wednesday.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, State Congress chief
Manikrao Thakre, Mumbai unit president Kripashankar Singh met
Pawar along with Ajit Pawar, State NCP chief Madhukar Pichad.
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel was also present.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Patel said
the swearing-in of ministers would take place tommorrow.

Indicating that the old formula of 23:20 would stay,
Patel said in the last one year, Congress and NCP had run the
government without any hiccups.

"The change in government at this juncture had taken
place in certain circumstances and hence there is no need for
any other change," he added.

Patel said there were no differences between the two
coalition partners over government formation.

Last week, nine NCP ministers along with Prithviraj
Chavan and Ajit Pawar had taken oath of office and secrecy
after Ashok Chavan was asked to step down from Chief
Ministership over his alleged involvement in the Adarsh
housing scam.

Yesterday, Ajit Pawar demanded that his party have 21
ministers intead of 20. "Last year, our demand was not met and
we backed out to ensure smooth government formation. But, this
time we will persist with the demand," he had said.

However, Congress had ruled out any change in the
formula for ministerial allocation. The strength of the
Maharashtra cabinet is 43.


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