NEW DELHI: A “positive” meeting between Congress and NCP on Wednesday raised the prospect of a coalition comprising them and the Sena forming the government in Maharashtra by next week.
At a joint press conference after lengthy discussions, Congress and NCP announced they will form a “stable” government and end the political uncertainty in the state.
Following another round of meetings late in the night, Congress leader and former CMPrithviraj Chavansaid,” We have made significant progress. We will meet again tomorrow and then head to Mumbai for a discussion with theShiv Senaon Friday. A big announcement in the evening could be expected.”
Now, NCP will
push for splitting the chief minstership
with Sena and it is to be seen if Sena agrees to the fresh bargaining by its prospective allies during the discussion over next two days. NCP has won just two seats less than Sena. A “coordination committee” is also in the works, which is expected to steer the coalition and address sticky issues such as those with aHindutvabearing. Key portfolios to be apportioned will also be decided between NCP, Congress and Sena over the next two days.
The announcement came after two rounds of meetings at the residence of NCP chief. The meetings are learned to have focused on finalizing a “common minimum program”. NCP and Congress also discussed the issues simultaneously with Shiv Sena.
Earlier, Nawab Malik of NCP and Prithviraj Chavan, at a joint briefing, stopped short of naming Sena even as they said that three parties will have to join hands to form the government. They had asserted that Congress and NCP will give a “stable” government. The naming of Sena later on Wednesday night indicated the issue was nearing conclusion.
The CMP as usual saw some sticking points. Sources said the hurdle was the bid to reconcile the platform for the coming together of “secular” and “Hindutva” forces. The Congress-NCP was eager to use “secularism” as the guiding principle of the coalition while Sena was learned to be dead against the usage. Given the deadlock, sources said a formulation on the lines that the government would “work in the spirit of the Constitution” was proposed.