In a fresh twist in Maharashtra politics, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, which came to power on November 28, has already changed the power-sharing formula. According to sources, Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party has renegotiated the power-sharing formula to grab one more ministerial berth.
Sources said that as per the new deal NCP will now have 16 cabinet ministers - one more than Shiv Sena, while Congress will have 13. It may be recalled that as per the initial power-sharing formula, the NCP with 54 MLAs and Shiv Sena with 56 MLAs had agreed to share 15 cabinet berths each, while Congress (44 MLAs) had decided to keep 12 ministerial berths.
It is learnt that NCP supremo Pawar has also said CM Uddhav Thackeray that his nephew Ajit Pawar will be the new deputy chief minister of Maharashtra. The NCP had also proposed to rotate the CM's chair for 2.5 years with the Shiv Sena but the idea was rejected by Sena chief Uddhav Thackaeray.
Though one week has passed since Uddhav took oath the chief minister of Maharashtra but he is yet to distirbute portfolios of his cabinet ministers. On his part, Uddhav Thackeray has claimed that the allocation of portfolios will be done in a day or two after dicussions with the NCP and the Congress.
Sources said that besides the Deputy CM post, NCP supremo Pawar is also eyeing important ministeries for his MLAs and he is putting pressure on Uddhav Thackeray to leave important ministeries for NCP. Sources in Shiv Sena said that the NCP is eyeing the Home Ministry and Finance Ministry and Sena may have to remain content with Housing Ministry, Urban Development Ministry, Transport Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Health Ministry and Tribal Welfare Ministry.
The Congress is likely to get Education Ministry, Revenue Ministry, Public Works Department Ministry, Minority Affairs Ministry and Social Welfare Ministry.