Maharashtra: NCP to get deputy CM post; Assembly Speaker will be from Congress

Maharashtra: NCP to get deputy CM post; Assembly Speaker will be from Congress
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, his nephew and NCP MLA Ajit Pawar. Photos: PTI

Mumbai: The Nationalist Congress Party will get deputy chief minister's post in the Maharashtra government, NCP leader Praful Patel said here on Wednesday night.

The Congress will get Assembly Speaker's post, while the NCP will get deputy Speaker's post, Patel told reporters after a meeting of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress here.

He also said that along with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray who will be sworn in as chief minister on Thursday evening, one or two members of each of the three parties will take oath as ministers.

There will be only one deputy CM's post in the government, he added.

The Shiv Sena and NCP are likely to get 15 ministerial berths each in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, sources said on Wednesday.

The Congress is likely to get 13 ministerial berths plus the Speaker's post.

Uddav Thackeray to be sworn in as Maharashtra CM, Ajit Pawar likely to be part of cabinet
NCP leaders Supriya Sule and Ajit Pawar during a special session of Maharashtra Assembly, at Vidhan Bhawan in Mumbai, Wednesday. Photo: PTI

The Sena will hold the chief minister's post for full five years, sources added.

Maharashtra can have a maximum of 43 ministers.

The size of council of ministers can not exceed 15 per cent of the total number of MLAs, which is 288 in the state.

The Shiv Sena has 56 MLAs, NCP 54 and Congress 44.

The move follows days of dramatic political developments, which included a three-day government formed by unexpected support from NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who has since returned to the Sharad Pawar-led party fold.

There is speculation that Ajit Pawar, who was present at a party meeting here on Wednesday after meeting the NCP chief on Tuesday night, may be inducted in the new cabinet.

Leaders of the 'Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi' (MVA) met here on Wednesday, a day ahead of Chief Minister-designate Uddhav Thackeray's oath-taking ceremony as the process of forming the new council of ministers gathered momentum.

The meet took place at the YB Chavan Centre in south Mumbai.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Thackeray and Congress veteran Ahmed Patel were among the leaders who held parleys over council of ministers and the swearing-in ceremony, to be held at the Shivaji Park in Dadar on Thursday evening.

Congress general secretary in-charge for Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge joined the leaders later.

"We have sorted all issues," Patel told reporters after the meeting, without divulging details pertaining to number of ministers who will take oath on Thursday with Thackeray.

The meeting follows Pawar's parleys with Patel, Congress general secretary K C Venugopal and others at the former's residence here earlier in the day.

The Sena, the NCP and the Congress on Tuesday named Thackeray as the chief ministerial nominee of the MVA, the three-party front forming the next government in the state.

Ever since the Sena reached out to the NCP and the Congress for a post-poll alliance, Pawar has been at the centre of government formation talks between the three main constituents of the newly-minted bloc.

(With PTI inputs)

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