Maharashtra: Deputy CM to be from NCP, Speaker from Congress
The new Maharashtra government will have one Deputy Chief Minister, from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), while the Speaker's post will go to the Congress party, NCP leader Praful Patel announced, following a six-hour-long meeting of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance, on Wednesday. Earlier, reports had suggested that CM-elect Uddhav Thackeray might get two deputies, one each from NCP and Congress. Here are more details.
Further, one or two MLAs from each party of the alliance, also known as the Maha Vikas Aghadi, will take oath as ministers, Patel disclosed. According to reports, power-sharing discussions between the three parties are such that out of the state's 43 ministerial berths, Sena will get 15, NCP will bag 15 as well, while smaller partner Congress will grab 13 berths.
Notably, the three-party alliance staked claim after the BJP government, led by Devendra Fadnavis with NCP rebel leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy, fell after just four days of formation. The BJP-Ajit Pawar government lacked a majority in the Assembly, which prompted both Fadnavis and Pawar to resign from the top posts. Meanwhile, 162 MLAs-strong Maha Vikas Aghadi picked Thackeray as its leader.
Following the quick rise and fall of BJP-Ajit Pawar government, Thackeray, backed by NCP and Congress, met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to stake claim to form the government. He will now sworn-in as CM at Shivaji Park at 6:40 pm, this evening. Reportedly, Thackeray, who has never contested an election, will become a member of the Legislative Council in the bicameral Maharashtra Assembly.
It took Maharashtra over a month's period to get a CM. To recall, the pre-poll alliance of BJP-Sena earned a clear majority in the elections, but the partnership fell apart due to tussle over power-sharing arrangements. Since no party staked claim to form government, President's rule was imposed in the state, before Fadnavis-Pawar government formed and failed, in a matter of days.