Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said on Friday his party will get the chief minister’s post in Maharashtra for a full term of five years amid talks with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress to stake a claim to form the government in the state.
“People of Maharashtra want Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to become the CM,” Sanjay Raut said while speaking to reporters.
The three unlikely allies—the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress—will hold another round of talks on Friday to thrash out the details of their alliance and their effort to form a government in the politically-crucial western state after similar meetings on Thursday.
The BJP and Sena, which fought the assembly elections in Maharashtra together, fell out over the chief minister’s position and equal distribution of portfolios, ending a three-decade-old alliance.
The state plunged into political uncertainty soon after the October 24 assembly election results threw up a hung House, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at 105 seats, the Sena at 56, the NCP at 54 and the Congress at 44. Independents and smaller parties won 29 seats.
Governor BS Koshyari invited the BJP, Sena and NCP, respectively, but no party could prove a majority within the prescribed deadline.
Maharashtra was placed under President’s Rule on November 12 after the governor told the Centre that no party was in a position to form the government in the state.
“The time for offers has ended,” Raut said when asked about reports that the BJP had agreed to share the CM’s post with the Sena.
The senior Sena leader also said that his party won’t side with the BJP even if it is offered Lord Indra’s throne.
Asked if the three non-BJP parties would meet the state governor on Friday, Sanjay Raut said, “Why meet the governor when the President’s rule is in place”.
The three parties have finalised a draft common minimum programme (CMP) focusing on farmers, unemployment, education and health care.
The three-page draft CMP, which HT has accessed, is likely to act as the backbone of negotiations between the three parties at a key meeting in Mumbai on Friday, senior leaders from all three parties indicated.
The CMP is likely to be discussed at Friday’s meeting, which is also expected to take up possible distribution of ministerial portfolios and the chief minister’s position, the leaders added.