New Delhi: After nearly a month-long impasse over government formation in Maharashtra, the state is finally inching towards a closure as Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan confirmed a “complete unanimity” between the allies following the crucial Congress-NCP meet at Sharad Pawar’s residence on Thursday.
Addressing at a press briefing shortly after the meeting on finalising a common minimum programme, Congress leader Chavan said that the three parties – the Congress, the NCP, and the Shiv Sena – have decided “in principle” to form a coalition, with two major points remaining to be finalised. The Congress-NCP alliance will unanimously decide upon everything and speak to the Sena delegation on Friday after all deliberations are made, he said.
“Congress & NCP have completed discussions on all issues. There is complete unanimity. Tomorrow in Mumbai, we will have a meeting with our other alliance parties. Later in the day, we will have a discussion with Shiv Sena,” Chavan said.
Subsequently, Congress leader KC Venugopal also said, “We have apprised the CWC members of the latest political situation in Maharashtra. Today, Congress-NCP discussion will continue. I think, tomorrow, we will probably have a decision in Mumbai.”
A key delegation of Congress leaders including Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh and Mallikarjun Kharge, along with NCP leaders Praful Patel, Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil and Nawab Malik deliberated on crucial issues like the Common Minimum Programme to forge an alliance for government formation in the state.
Earlier in the day, the top decision-making body of the Congress met at party chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence to get a breakthrough regarding the political situation in Maharashtra. NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena had reportedly worked out a common agenda, but the terms of power-sharing were not yet final as the latter was unwilling to accept the rotational chief ministership that the NCP is demanding.
Further, the Sena, being a ‘Hindutva’ forward party, is not exactly in favour of the term ‘secular’ in the agenda discussed by the Congress.
After reports emerged that Congress has been insisting on the need to stress on the word ‘secular’ in the common minimum programme, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, this country runs on secularism which is stressed in the Constitution. The two parties, however, later decided to adhere to Preamble of Indian constitution.
A decision by the ‘Maha Shiv Agadhi’ or the three-way coalition, if taken by this weekend, will end the existing President’s Rule that was imposed last week after none of the top parties in Maharashtra was able to prove numbers.