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Shiv Sena MLAs tell Uddhav Thackeray they want him as Maharashtra chief minister

The Sena MLAs were called for a meeting on Friday morning hours before the Congress, NCP and Sena leadership were to meet at 4pm. They told party president Uddhav Thackeray that they wanted him to become the chief ministerial candidate of the prop...

ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 22, 2019, 02.11 PM IST
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Shiv Sena MLAs told party president Uddhav Thackeray at a meeting on Friday morning that they wanted him to become the chief ministerial candidate of the proposed front in Maharashtra, but left the final decision to him.

The Sena MLAs were called for a meeting on Friday morning hours before the Congress, NCP and Sena leadership were to meet at 4pm.

Emerging from the meeting held at Matoshree, Pratap Sarnaik Shiv Sena MLA from Thane said, “ All the MLA’s have been demanding that the Chief Minister’s post be occupied by the party president Uddhav ji. We asked for that today again. All the MLA’s unanimously have now entrusted Uddhav ji to take a decision on the chief minister’s post.”

Sarnaik also said that, contrary to reports, Sena MLAs would stay back in Mumbai and not go to Jaipur or any other location. “We can be called at any time ( to approach the Governor) so we have been asked to stay back in Mumbai,” he said.

Sena leaders said that there were speculations on who would be Sena's choice as CM , as NCP chief Sharad Pawar had suggested to the Sena to appoint Sanjay Raut, while a large number of party MLAs wanted Thane MLA Eknath Shinde to be chief minister if Uddhav decided to stay away. Sources also said Sena leader Subhash Desai could be the dark horse.

According to some of the MLAs who spoke to ET on condition of anonymity, Uddhav told the MLAs that reports of the BJP offering the chief minister’s post on rotation to the Sena a few days ago was baseless. He said that the BJP was responsible for today’s situation where the Sena had split from its ally of more than two decades.

Sena MLAs also said that the party leadership wants them to stay back in Mumbai as they plan to approach the Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to form a government either on Friday or on Saturday itself.

Sena MLAs said they expect letters of support to form the government from the Congress and NCP after the joint 4pm meeting where the three parties will be present. Following this, after completing the formalities as desired by the governor, the Sena would approach him on Friday late evening or on Saturday.

Meanwhile Congress leader Manikrao Thakre indicated that the Shiv Sena's Chief Minister will be there for the entire five years and that the Sena would not share the chief minister's post with the NCP.

"There has been no such discussions within the state leaderships (of the Congress and NCP). The CM post will be with the Sena," Thakre told reporters.

Thackeray said this before the Congress MLAs meet to choose the next Congress Legislative Party leader. Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar has pitched the name of state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat for the post to the Congress high command.

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