A crucial two-hour long meeting of the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress concluded here yesterday evening with a call to Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to accept the post of Maharashtra chief minister.
Emerging from the meeting, NCP president Sharad Pawar indicated that a consensus had evolved on Thackeray’s name for the top post.
“There is unanimity on the name of Uddhav Thackeray for chief minister’s post. Now, he must take it up,” Pawar said.
He added that yesterday’s discussions centred around the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), saying that important decisions have been taken in this regard.
However, Uddhav Thackeray has reportedly sought time to think over the proposal and is likely to convey the same to the NCP-Congress later, according to a party source.
Significantly, after the meeting at Nehru Centre, Worli, Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray paid an unscheduled visit to the Balasaheb Thackeray National Memorial and paid homage to the Sena founder.
On his part, Uddhav said that he did not want to share “any incomplete information on anything”.
“The discussions were held in detail and efforts are on to ensure no issues are left out. Discussions are still on. When everything is finalised, we shall share it with you,” Uddhav Thackeray said.
Among the constraints being discussed within the Sena is how to prevent two independent power centres from developing if Uddhav becomes the chief minister – one at the government level and the other at the party level.
Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said yesterday’s discussions were very fruitful and positive.
“However, the talks are not yet completed... It will continue again today,” Chavan said.
NCP leader Praful Patel also spoke on similar lines and said that after everything is finalised, it will be informed to the media.
The proposed ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ comprising the Sena-NCP-Congress is likely to hold a press conference today where the final details will be shared with the media.
“After the press conference today, we shall make attempts to stake claim at the earliest possible opportunity,” NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
Meanwhile, a dejected Bharatiya Janata Party is said to have made “a desperate last-minute” attempt to win over its former ally Shiv Sena back to its fold, party sources revealed.
This included a wake-up call to the Sena chief Udhav Thackeray’s house, ‘Matoshri’ around 3am yesterday, virtually dragging him out of the bed after he had returned home at 1am from a meeting at Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Pawar’s home late Thursday night.
“Top BJP leaders from New Delhi conveyed that the party is ready to accept any conditions made by the Sena, including the post of CM for the full term, ministries of his choice and even numerical adjustments if required at the Centre and state,” said the source, requesting anonymity.
The erstwhile ally was also ready to forgive and forget, patch up the alliance again and even include the Sena back to the NDA from where it was ejected on November 17 without notice.
However, Thackeray reportedly gave the leaders – whose names are not revealed – a patient hearing, but politely informed that it is not possible to take a U-turn after going such a long distance with the upcoming alliance of the Sena with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
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