New Delhi: Ashok Chavan, set to take over as Maharashtra chief minister for a second time, said here Sunday that there was "no question" of taking the support of Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to form the state government.
Chavan, who was chosen by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to head the state, told reporters here: "There is no question of taking support of Raj Thackeray."
He said the Congress Legislature Party had left with party chief Sonia Gandhi the decision to choose the leader and his name was formally announced past midnight. The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine won the October 13 state assembly elections to form government for the third straight time.
On Narayan Rane, a strong contender for the chief minister's chair, Chavan said: "He gave me a bouquet and I am taking it back with me to Mumbai."
Asked about former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, whom he replaced following last year's terror attacks on Mumbai, Chavan said: "We were together last night."
Chavan met several leaders including President Pratibha Patil, former union home minister Shivraj Patil, and also Congress observer for the state and Defence Minister AK Antony.
He said the process of formation of the new government will begin after ally NCP meets. The NCP legislators will choose their leader Monday, who will be made deputy chief minister.
The MNS, which made its debut in the assembly polls and bagged 13 seats, is credited with eroding the base of the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party and helping the Congress-NCP get more votes.
In the 288-seat assembly, the Congress-NCP bagged 144 seats - Congress 81 and NCP 63, while the Shiv Sena-BJP got 90 seats - BJP 46 and Sena 44.
First Published: Sunday, October 25, 2009, 22:04