MUMBAI: Even as a formal announcement on an alliance for forming government in Maharashtra is yet to be made, the three political parties - Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress - have reached a broad consensus on making Uddhav Thackeray taking over as the next chief minister of the state.
Confirming the development, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said late on Friday that party chief Uddhav Thackeray has also "given his consent" to become the chief minister of Maharashtra.
Ahead of Raut, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had earlier said that a consensus has been reached between the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress on Thackeray taking up the top post.
Although consensus has evolved on Uddhav Thackeray's name for the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister, the Shiv Sena chief has also put the condition for retaining the post for five years.
Sources, however, said that Sharad Pawar is still keen on keeping the CM's chair for his party for 2.5 years.
Earlier on Friday, Thackeray addressed a meeting of his legislators at his residence ''Matoshree'' in Mumbai where he had said that the process of government formation in Maharashtra is on track.
After a marathon meeting between the three parties in Mumbai, top leaders from NCP and the Congress said that the discussions will continue further, and that the parties will decide on November 23 when to approach the Governor for staking claim to form the government in Maharashtra.
The Congress and the NCP also held talks with their pre-poll alliance partners- the Peasants Workers Party, the Samajwadi Party, the Swabhimani Paksha and the CPI(M) - before the meeting with Shiv Sena.
Senior NCP leader Jayant Patil had said that smaller pre-poll allies of his party and the Congress have backed the idea of forming a government with the Sena to keep the BJP away from power in the state.
NCP leader Nawab Malik had earlier stated that the priority for the three parties is to form the government at the earliest, and that it runs for five years.
"What is important is the government runs for five years, people's sentiments are respected...Our priority to form the government at the earliest," he had said.