New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday said that Uddhav Thackeray has given his consent to become the chief minister. This came after a two-hour-long meeting between the three parties -- Shiv Sena, Congress, and NCP -- on Friday evening, the “Sena-NCP-Congress alliance has agreed on the name of Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister of Maharashtra”, news agency PTI quoted NCP Chief Sharad Pawar as saying.

Emerging from the marathon meeting of top leaders of the Congress, the NCP and the Sena, who are making efforts to form government in Maharashtra, Pawar said there was a consensus on Thackeray's leadership. Discussions on other issues are in progress, Pawar said after the meeting.

"The issue of leadership is not pending. There is consensus on Uddhav Thackeray leading the new government," Pawar said as reported by PTI.

Sharad Pawar told this to media while leaving the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre, where the alliance's meeting was held in Mumbai. However, when Uddhav left the building moments later, he said that discussions were still underway and going in the right direction. We will end the discussions soon and come before the media.

The three parties came together more than a week after the President’s rule was imposed in Maharashtra after no party could produce the majority to form the government.

The talks to make a pact between the ideological opposites Shiv Sena and Congress picked up pace after Congress President Sonia Gandhi agreed on partnering with the Shiv Sena, as she was advised by senior party leaders that to keep BJP out of power in India’s financial hub, the alliance should be made. NCP chief Sharad Pawar also acted as a bridge to bring both ideologically opposite parties on one path.

Uddhav Thackeray on Friday met his party's legislators and told them that the process to form a Sena-led dispensation in the state was in the final stages. Thackeray instructed the Sena MLAs to stay together in Mumbai as they may be required any time, a party MLA said. Earlier on Friday, the Congress and NCP said their smaller allies have backed the idea of forming a government in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena to keep its estranged ally BJP out of power in the state.

The state was plunged into a political crisis after the Sena broke its three-decade-long ties with the BJP after the latter declined to share the chief minister's post. The BJP and Sena, which fought the Assembly polls in alliance, had secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member Assembly. The Congress and the NCP, pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats, respectively.

Results of the October 21 Assembly polls were declared on October 24 and President's rule was imposed in the state on November 12 after no party or combine staked claim to form the new government.

(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan