Millennium Post

'Uddhav unanimous choice for Maha CM'

Uddhav unanimous choice for Maha CM

Mumbai: A crucial two-hour-long meeting of the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress concluded here on Friday evening with a call to Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to accept the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister.

Emerging from the meeting, NCP president Sharad Pawar indicated that the discussions amongst the parties were "fruitful" and a consensus had evolved on Thackeray's name for the top post.

"There is unanimity on the name of Uddhav Thackeray for CM post. Now, he must take it up," Pawar said.

"More talks will continue tomorrow (Saturday)," Pawar said. He said the meeting at Nehru Centre in central Mumbai deliberated extensively on finalising an agenda for governance. "We have made sure no issues are left untouched between the parties. We will announce everything tomorrow (Saturday)," Uddhav Thackeray told reporters after the meeting in Mumbai.

Unwilling to disclose further, Uddhav said: "I don't want to give you half information. When everything is decided all three of us will come before you and give all the information." In a press conference held post-meeting of the three parties by Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said there was complete agreement and parties reached a common consensus, adding that the discussions will continue on Saturday. Chavan addressed the media along with NCP leader Praful Patel.

"Today (Friday) the discussions were conducted in a positive manner," Chavan said.

Earlier in the day, top leaders of the three parties met in Mumbai to give shape to the new government. Eknath Shinde, Subhash Desai, Sanjay Raut (all Shiv Sena), Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, K C Venugopal, Avinash Pande, Balasaheb Thorat, Prithviraj Chavan (Congress), Praful Patel, Jayant Patil and Ajit Pawar (NCP) took part in the meeting.

While top leaders of Sena-NCP-Congress held marathon meetings to decide the future of Maharashtra government, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court seeking to restrain the state Governor from inviting political parties Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress to form the government "against the people's mandate" and to declare such formation as "unconstitutional".

Meanwhile, opposing the three-party alliance in Maharashtra, BJP leader and Union minister Nitin Gadkari, earlier in the day, termed the alliance as "opportunistic".

"Opportunism is the base of their alliance. The three parties have become united with the only motto to keep the BJP out of power. I have doubts about whether this government will be formed… Even if it is formed, it will not last beyond six to eight months," he said.

The proposed Maha Vikas Aghadi comprising the Sena-NCP-Congress is likely to hold a press conference on Saturday where the final details will be shared with the media. "After the press conference tomorrow (Saturday), we shall make attempts to stake claim at the earliest possible opportunity," NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik said. See P5

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