Uddhav Thackeray, 59, will lead the alliance of three parties - Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress - that will stake claim to form Maharashtra’s next government, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Friday. The announcement came after a rare meeting between leaders of the three parties at Mumbai’s Nehru Centre to seal the ground rules for the alliance.
The Shiv Sena, which had broken up with its ally of three decades Bharatiya Janata Party over its refusal to share the chief minister’s chair, will get to hold the top post in the government for the next five years.
The alliance leaders will decide tomorrow when to seek an appointment with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to stake claim, Pawar told reporters.
Koshyari had cancelled his trip to attend a conference of governors in national capital Delhi earlier in the day after it appeared that the three parties had been able to look beyond their ideological differences for now and agree on a common agenda for the government.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which had emerged as the single largest party in last month’s state elections, hasn’t commented on the coalition government so far. Union minister Nitin Gadkari did tell off the Sena, underscoring that its decision to part ways with the BJP would hurt the Hindutva cause. Gadkari also prophesied that the freshly-minted alliance wouldn’t last more than six or eight months.