1999 formula is not sacrosanct: MPCC
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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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