Mumbai: Serious parleys on government formation have begun among three parties -- Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress -- in Maharashtra. As a first step, Congress and NCP leaders have met to discuss the formulation of a common minimum programme (CMP), which will then be taken to the Shiv Sena, after which the final outcome will be declared before the media.
Talks are also on to finalise a name for the new alliance. Right now, the Marathi media has termed it as 'Maha Shiv Aaghadi', which means grand alliance on the name of King Shivaji. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray too has used this name on two different occasions. But the official name will be finalised only after a discussion of leaders of all three parties.
As the alliance is being termed as a 'coalition of contradictions', the three parties are making efforts to minimise the impact contradictions on the new formation and ensure smooth governance. The most important step in this direction will be the formation of 'Coordination Committee', sources said.
The modalities of this committee are being discussed by the topmost leadership of all three parties, such as its size and rights, which will be finalised in the next few days.
Highly placed sources in Congress said that the need for such a committee was already discussed at the national as well as state level.
"We will need decisive and important leaders from all three parties to be in this committee. But the size of the committee shall not be more than seven to nine members," said a senior leader of Maharashtra Congress.
The committee will be taking a call on issues, such as policy decisions, big infrastructure projects, transfers on important posts, appointments about statutory bodies as well as other institutions, as well as a few cultural as well as social issues. The idea is to iron out any possible conflicts and sure the proposed government’s survival, said sources.
During the tenure of the Congress-NCP government before 2014, there was a cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure which was known as most powerful committee. Decisions on major contracts, tenders and projects were to be taken in this committee even though the ideological similarity between Congresses and NCP did not demand such a committee. But this time, the Shiv Sena, which is known a Right-Wing party, is joining hands with these two parties. So, differences are bound to come out in the oopne every now and then if there is no system in place.
Sources said the proposed committee is likely to be headed by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who is considered a master strategist and the brain behind bringing Sena closer to the both the parties for formation of a new government. His experienced guidance as well as skills to find a way out in case of disputes is much needed, hence there is almost unanimity on his name as chief of committee, sources added.