MUMBAI: Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackeray will be the next chief minister of Maharashtra, according to reports emerging from the meeting the party had with leaders of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress at Mumbai on Friday.
NCP supremo Sharad Paward said the Sena chief was picked up to lead the coalition government unanimously. Coming out of the venue as the meeting ends, Uddhav Thackeray says, "We have decided on the future course of Maharashtra."
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who was supposed to go to Delhi for the Governors' Conference, has decided to stay back in Mumbai in view of the political developments in the state.
Reports said that Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will not meet the governor on Saturday, and that there will be another round of talks. Addressing reporters after a meeting among the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, Congress leader Ahmed Patel said that talks were inconclusive and discussions will continue on Saturday.
Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan also told the media that deliberations are not completely done. "Today leaders of three parties — NCP Congress Shiv Sena — jointly met. All senior leaders were present. It was a positive meeting. But it is not over. The meeting will continue on Saturday," India Today quoted Chavan as saying.
Chavan met with reporters in Mumbai after the crucial meeting between the three alliance partners and said that the joint press briefing will be held on Saturday.
Quoting sources, India Today further reported that all the three alliance parties — Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP — agreed to Shiv Sena getting 16 ministerial berths, NCP 14 and Congress 12. Other details like Speaker, deputy Speaker, important corporations are being discussed. That has been left for state leaders to decide, the report added.
Meanwhile, a BJP leader has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking to stop the "unholy alliance" likely to be formed by three political parties in Maharashtra staking a claim to form the state government, according to Bar & Bench.
The petitioner, Surendra Indrabahadur Singh, has submitted that if the coalition of the Shiv Sena and the parties it effectively fought against is allowed, it would result in dilution of the mandate of the public and will be against the "Constitutional ethos".
"The "unholy alliance" would virtually defeat the mandate of the public that cast their votes based on the manifesto, ideology, promises, and propaganda of each of these pre-poll alliances and thus the same should not be allowed, is the contention of the petitioner," the petition said.
Earlier this month, the Shiv Sena filed a petition challenging the decision of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari rejecting the claim of the party to form the government in the State