Maha: Series of meetings take off to come out with CMP

"The talks are in the right direction," Uddhav Thackeray said, adding that the modalities will be announced at an appropriate time.

A day after President's rule was imposed, the MahaAghadi allies— the Congress and the NCP— have initiated talks with the Shiv Sena to form an alternative government in Maharashtra. 

The three big challenges that face them are developing a common minimum programme, settlement on the post of chief minister and tackling the issue of ideological differences.

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi's close aide Ahmed Patel had a closed-door meeting with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray around midnight.

On Wednesday, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar held a meeting with his party's top leaders while the Congress state leadership met under the chairmanship of party's state unit chief Balasaheb Thorat.

On Wednesday, two top Congress leaders including Thorat and former chief minister Ashok Chavan and Manikrao Thakare met Uddhav.

"The talks are in the right direction," Uddhav said, adding that the modalities will be announced at an appropriate time.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena troubleshooter Sanjay Raut was discharged from the Lilavati Hospital.

"The chief minister is going to be from the Shiv Sena," Raut said emerging out of the meeting.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Patel has given a go ahead to the state leadership for talks with the NCP and the Shiv Sena.

The Congress and the NCP top leadership is expected to meet in New Delhi for talks and take the negotiations further.

"In our meeting, the MLAs were of the opinion that government should be formed as early as possible. Even I think before the new year begins,  Maharashtra should get a government," NCP legislature party leader Ajit Pawar said.

The common minimum programme (CMP) of the three will focus on the common man, farmers, the downtrodden and the marginalized sections of society.

Sharad Pawar is of the opinion that the three partners must share power to provide stability to the coalition.

In fact, the MahaYuti involving the BJP and the Shiv Sena broke away on the issue of chief ministership.

Between the Congress-NCP alliance and Sena, the bone of contention is again seems to be the chief minister's chair.

Two proposals have emerged: the Sena and the NCP share the post for two-and-a-half years each or the three parties take turns to share the post for 20 months each.

Other key pointers are the aggressive Hindutva ideology of the Shiv Sena and the Congress-NCP's commitment to provide reservation to Muslims.

But, Congress-NCP leaders have lauded Uddhav's decision not to talk to Hindutva leader and Shiv Prathisthan Hindustan founder Sambhaji Bhide,  who is said to have gone to Matoshree on behalf of the BJP.

The commitment of the Shiv Sena was taken on record when it pulled out of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre and withdrew partyman Arvind Sawant from a ministerial position.

"We have to ensure that the balance of power among the three remains and for this there would be a proper distribution of portfolios if the government has to run for five years," sources said. 

Besides, a coordination committee would be formed which will include leaders, both from inside and outside the government, of the three parties.

"We will ensure that nothing happens unilaterally, there would be multiple channels and layers," the sources said.

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