Deputy Chief Minister chair or out of Maharashtra alliance, says Congress

By Express News Service
MUMBAI: After the resignation of Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Nana Patole, Congress may demand the deputy chief minister’s post in Uddhav Thackeray’s government. Congress sources said that Rahul Gandhi has asked leaders in Maharashtra to balance the power-sharing.

“If the demand is not fulfilled, then Congress may pull out of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government or support it from outside without sharing power. Rahul has asked leaders to be aggressive with their demands,” said a highly-placed source.

Congress MLAs have complained to the party brass that they are not getting due importance. In Maha Vikas Aghadi, Shiv Sena has 57 MLAs, NCP 54 and Congress 44.

Nana Patole has taken charge as president of Congress state unit.

“In decision making Sena and NCP are in the forefront while Congress is ignored. Sena has the CM and NCP the deputy CM. Congress has no important post. We explained this to Rahul and he is convinced for the deputy CM’s post,” added the source.

He said Deputy CM Ajit Pawar calls meetings of officers and takes major decisions. “If this continues, Congress will lose its space to either NCP or Sena.”

Pawar clarified that during the formation of government, all three parties sat together and worked out a power-sharing formula. “Now, there is no talk of giving the deputy CM post to Congress,” the NCP leader clarified.