Maharashtra’s 16-15-12 power-share pact to be sealed at crucial Mumbai meet

The Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra coalition that has been in the making for the last few weeks is in the final lap. The power sharing formula between the three allies — Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress — has been finalised, said people familiar with the development.

According to blueprint that is expected to be sealed at a meeting later this evening, the Shiv Sena and NCP will get 16 and 15 berths respectively while Congress’ will have to settle for 12 berths in the council of ministers to be led by the Sena.

“We are going by the formula of one ministerial berth against four MLAs. Going by that, both the Shiv Sena and NCP are getting 15 berths each. As Shiv Sena is also getting chief ministerial position, its representation in the new council of ministers will be 16. Of them, 11 will be cabinet berths and 5 berths of minister of state,” a leader of Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party told HT.

Similarly, NCP will get 11 cabinet berths and 4 berths of minister of state while Congress will get 9 cabinet berths and 3 berths of minister of state, the NCP leader quoted above said.

A Congress leader confirmed the arrangement. This formula is expected to be formally cleared at a meeting of senior leaders from the three parties later in the day.

The tripartite meeting follow two quick internal meetings of the Congress and the Shiv Sena. The Congress meeting is to decide its legislative party leader. At his meeting, Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray briefed party legislators about the political developments and the party’s decision to form a coalition government along with NCP and Congress. The Sena, which will get to decide the chief minister hasn’t named anyone yet. Thackeray was told by his lawmakers at this meeting that he should assume this responsibility.

The NCP and Congress – who had contested last month’s election as a coalition — have also called a meeting of their small allies — Samajwadi Party, Swabhimani Paksha, Peasants and Workers Party, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi etc. — this afternoon. The meeting was called to bring consensus among the allies on the new political equation in the state, said a NCP leader.

It is at a meeting later in the evening that top leaders from all three parties — Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress — will meet at an undisclosed location to seal the power sharing formula. They are also expected to finalise the timing of their request for an appointment with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to stake claim.

“We will give final touches to the power-sharing formula today. We will also decide the date on which stake will he claimed to form the government,” said Congress leader Manikrao Thakre.