Tribune News Service
Mumbai, November 13
Leaders of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party on Wednesday began holding discussions for framing the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) with the Shiv Sena ahead of forming a tripartite alliance in Maharashtra.
Senior leaders of the Congress party led by Ahmed Patel, former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat, president of the state unit of the Congress, and his predecessor Manikrao Thakre have held two meetings with Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Talks are progressing in the right direction. Everything will be announced at the appropriate time,” Thackeray told reporters after a meeting with Congress leaders today.
According to sources here, a five-member team of the Nationalist Congress Party led by former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and senior leaders Chhagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patil, Dhananjay Munde and Nawab Malik have been holding talks with the Congress leaders to prepare the CMP.
With the Congress preparing to join the government in Maharashtra, the three parties are also preparing a blueprint to share power in the state, according to sources here. However, initial
indications are that the Shiv Sena will be the first to have its Chief Minister in Maharashtra. “The next Chief Minister will be from the Shiv Sena,” Sanjay Raut, the party’s Rajya Sabha MP and editor of mouthpiece Saamna, told reporters while leaving hospital this afternoon. Raut had undergone angioplasty two days ago.
Earlier today, Raut had a discussion with senior Congress leaders who called on him at the Lilavati hospital where he was admitted.
Justifying its decision to align with the Congress and the NCP, Saamna said the Shiv Sena was playing the role of ‘Neelkanth’ who consumed poison in order to end political instability in Maharashtra.
Saamna noted that the BJP too had formed coalitions with parties of different ideologies in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir.
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