Smaller allies of NCP-Congress are slated to hold meetings with the leaders of their alliance on Friday, in order to work out the final modalities and their role in the "Maha Vikas Aghadi" (NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena) government in the state. The development comes as the NCP-Congress and Shiv Sena inch closer towards staking claim to form a government in Maharashtra. The meeting between the leaders will take place at 12 pm, hours ahead of the NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena meeting scheduled at 4 pm today.
Apart from these three major parties, smaller allies of Congress and NCP like Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Peasants and Workers Party of India, Samajwadi Party etc will also be a part of the alliance.
They will most likely be part of the 'Maha Vikas Aghadi', the expected name of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in the state.
According to the leaders of Congress and NCP, a Common Minimum Programme to run the alliance government has been worked out after a series of meetings and several rounds of discussions. They also told that power-distribution among the allies would soon be finalised in a couple of meetings.
In a late-night development, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray along with his son and party MLA Aaditya Thackeray called on NCP supremo Sharad Pawar at his residence after he returned from Delhi.
According to sources, Pawar briefed Thackeray about his discussion with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders over the modalities of government formation and the basics of Common minimum programme decided by the Congress and NCP.
"Our Common Minimum Programme is based on the issues of common man, relief to farmers, job creation, etc., while issues like Hindutva or Bharat Ratna to Savarkar etc are not part of our Common Minimum Programme, these issues were not even discussed in any of our meetings," a senior leader of NCP said.
However, apart from the meetings of allies, each party is also expected to hold their separate meetings on Friday.
Shiv Sena has formally called all its MLAs to Mumbai for a meeting scheduled in the afternoon today. Post these meetings, the leaders are expected to visit Raj Bhavan to intimate Governor about their decision to form the government.
"After our meeting with our smaller allies in the afternoon and with Shiv Sena in the evening, our delegation may go to Raj Bhavan to intimate about our decision to form the government. As we hear that Governor has gone to Delhi for some official work and is not likely to be available to meet is in Mumbai today, we will submit our letters to Raj Bhavan Secretariat in that case, "said NCP leader Nawab Malik.
Maharashtra came under President's Rule on November 12 after all the parties failed to form a government in the state.
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the Chief Minister's post and equal sharing of Cabinet berths.
Shiv Sena parted its ways with BJP to explore ways to form a government. It, however, failed to prove the support of the required number of MLAs in the time given by state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
The Governor had then invited NCP, the third-largest party, to prove its ability to form the government failing which President's Rule was imposed in the state.
The Shiv Sena is now in talks with the Congress and NCP to form a government in Maharashtra.
The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.