Sena-NCP-Cong alliance: Formal announcement on Friday

Congress general secretary KC Venugopal told the media after a meeting at party chief Sonia Gandhi's 10 Janpath residence that the CWC was briefed on the discussion between NCP and Congress on Wednesday. Photo/PTI

Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Thursday approved the decision to form the government in Maharashtra in a grand alliance with NCP and arch-rival Shiv Sena.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi summoned an urgent meeting of the CWC on Thursday morning after the leaders of the pre-poll alliance Congress and NCP finalised a proposal to support and join a Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra.

Earlier, after Gandhi's go ahead for an alliance with Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP leaders held a series of meetings to thrash out the modalities of government formation and sharing of portfolios.

“I think tomorrow we will probably have a decision in Mumbai,” AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal told reporters after the CWC meetings.

NCP is keen on having the chief minister's post after a two-and-a-half-year stint of the Shiv Sena, while Congress will get the deputy chief minister's post for a five-year term.

Soon after the CWC, Congress and NCP leaders held another round of talks at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar's residence here. The leaders of the twp parties are expected to travel to Mumbai where they would meet their counterparts from the Shiv Sena.

A formal announcement of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance is expected to be made in Mumbai on Friday.

After a marathon meeting on Wednesday, the Congress and the NCP leaders said they have in-principle agreed to form an alliance in Maharashtra and a give a “stable” state government.

The Shiv Sena has remained tight-lipped on who will be the chief minister.

“You will come to know about it very soon. But all Shiv Sainiks and people of the state want Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister,” senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.

On NCP's demand that the chief minister's post has to be on a rotational basis, Raut said he “did not” have any information on that.

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