Amid consensus, Uddhav inches closer to CM post

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray leaves after meeting NCP and Congress leaders in Mumbai on Friday. PTI

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has emerged as the consensus candidate to lead the new government in Maharashtra, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar said on Friday, as the Sena president looked set to become the first Thackeray to hold a post of power.

On Friday evening, the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress went into a huddle at the Nehru Centre in Worli to clinch the government formation exercise and end the political turmoil in the state.

On emerging out of the meeting, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar said there is a unanimity on Uddhav leading the government. 

“There is a unanimity (among Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) that Uddhav Thackeray should lead the new government,” said Pawar, who presided over the meeting. 

When asked whether Uddhav would be the next CM, Pawar said: “Maine aapko bataya na ek bar (I did tell you once)”. 

The finer details of the government will be announced on Saturday. The Congress and NCP have kept the letters of support and signatures of MLAs ready for the Shiv Sena to formally stake a claim.

Asked about the meeting, Uddhav said: “When everything is decided we will share the details together.”

Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said parties had positive discussions.

“We have reached consensus on many issues but talks will continue on Saturday. Whatever Sharad Pawar ji has said is on record, I won’t speak on that,” he added.

Sonia Gandhi’s close aide Ahmed Patel said the talks were inconclusive.  “The meeting was inconclusive. We will meet again on Saturday,” he said, refusing to state whether Uddhav’s name for the CM post was agreed upon.

The NCP-Congress is said to have insisted on Uddhav being the CM for the full five-year term to lend stability to the untested formation, which comprises parties with incompatible ideologies. 

Meanwhile, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who was supposed to go to New Delhi for a conference, has decided to stay back in view of the political developments.

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