New Delhi: At a time when Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress are inching closer towards staking claim to form government in Maharashtra, there seems to be differences within the parties on who will lead the state. While it is clear that the chief minister's post will go to Shiv Sena, a name hasn't been finalised as of yet.
On Thursday, sources said that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is likely to be the CM. NCP president Sharad Pawar has also urged Uddhav to become the CM for smooth functioning of the government but meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's name also popped up. And now, there is a strong buzz that the party is in favour of giving the top post to senior leader Eknath Shinde, also the leader of the legislative party.
Most of the MLAs have agreed to Shinde getting the post but the final decision is yet to be taken and it will be of Uddhav's.
A meeting of the Sena leaders is currently being chaired by Uddhav. Sources said that after the meeting, the MLAs are most likely to be shifted to an undisclosed location.
Initially, the MLAs were in favour of Uddhav taking the CM's post but at the meeting, he said that he had promised his father and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray that a Shiv Sainik will be Maharashtra CM and he hasn't asked the CM's chair for himself. It was after this that the MLAs suggested Shinde's name for the top post.
The Shiv Sena (56 seats), NCP (54) and Congress (44) alliance will be called 'Maha Vikas Aghadi'. They can stake the claim to form the government on Saturday (November 23).
According to the leaders of Congress and NCP, a Common Minimum Programme to run the alliance government has been worked out after a series of meetings and several rounds of discussions.
Maharashtra came under President`s Rule on November 12 after all the parties failed to form a government in the state. The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the CM's post and equal sharing of Cabinet berths. Shiv Sena parted its ways with BJP to explore ways to form a government.