A 40-point common minimum programme (CMP) was finalised by Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress on Thursday in the first concrete step towards government formation. It will now be shared with the chiefs of the three parties, who will confer over the weekend and the final blueprint is expected by November 19.
With the draft CMP wrapped up, attention has turned to power sharing, and a broad consensus seems to be emerging on Sena getting 16 cabinet members, NCP 14 and Congress 12. The Speaker is likely to be from Congress, and will get a deputy from Sena, while the legislative council chairman's post will go to NCP, with the deputy's chair, again, for Sena.
The top posts seem to be far from decided. A senior Congress leader said: "Shiv Sena has staked claim for the CM's post. It is not yet clear if it will be for five years or it will be by rotation for two and half years, or it should be for an equal period among Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP." Stressing that all posts and cabinet berths will be decided by consensus, the leader added that a decision on deputy CM will be taken after deliberations among senior leaders of all three parties.
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