President's Rule in Maharashtra: Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena finalise first draft of common minimum programme in meeting

  • After the meeting between the three parties concluded, Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde said, 'Common Minimum Programme draft has been prepared'

  • NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi are likely to meet in Delhi on 17 November

  • Unlike the frenzy and buzz during the last week, the political parleys on Thursday were held away from media glare

Leaders of the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena met in Mumbai on Thursday to work out a common minimum programme (CMP) before finalising a possible alliance for government formation in Maharashtra. NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi are likely to meet in Delhi on 17 November, PTI quoted NCP sources as saying.

After the meeting between the three parties concluded, Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde was quoted by ANI as saying, “Common Minimum Programme was discussed in the meeting, a draft has been prepared. The draft will be sent to high command of three parties for discussion, final decision will be taken by high commands.”

Leaders of NCP, Congress, and Sena came together for the first time to hold talks on Thursday after the Sena sought the support of two parties — its traditional rivals — for government formation after falling out with the BJP.

The meeting was attended by Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil, NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal and the party's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik. Congress leaders Prithviraj Chavan, Manikrao Thakare and Vijay Wadettiwar were also present, along with Shiv Sena leaders Shinde and Subhash Desai.

Unlike the frenzy and buzz during the last week, the political parleys on Thursday were held away from media glare. NCP sources said that Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi are likely to meet in Delhi on 17 November and discuss a possible government formation in alliance with the Shiv Sena.

The draft CMP will be discussed in the meeting between Gandhi and Pawar, the source added. The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, kept up its attacks on estranged ally BJP.

Sena mouthpiece Saamana in its editorial on Thursday alleged that imposition of President's rule in Maharashtra was a "scripted act".

Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was shedding "crocodile tears" over the imposition of President's rule as power is indirectly in the hands of the BJP, it said.

Sena MP Sanjay Raut said if BJP president Amit Shah had informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi "in time" about the "50:50" seat-sharing formula decided on by leaders of the two parties, the current impasse would have been avoided. Shah, on Wednesday, had rejected Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's claim that the BJP had agreed to share the chief minister’s post.

The state BJP also held its state executive meeting to discuss organisational matters and prevailing political situation.

President's rule was imposed in the state on Tuesday after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari sent a report to the Centre stating that formation of a stable government was impossible in the current situation despite all his efforts.

The BJP and Shiv Sena, who fought the 21 October state elections in alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member Assembly.

But the BJP did not cede the Sena's demand of sharing the chief minister's post, leading to falling apart of the nearly three-decade-old alliance.

The Congress and NCP have won 44 and 54 seats.

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Updated Date: Nov 14, 2019 23:41:30 IST


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