Maharashtra Governor S.C. Jamir on Tuesday stepped in to inject a sense of urgency in government formation and NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Chagan Bhujbal added a new twist saying his party would support a Congress government from outside.
But his party leader and Union Minister Praful Patel made it clear that his party will be part of the new government that will be formed “at the earliest.”
Talks are on with Congress and issues will be sorted out “amicably and to the satisfaction of all”, he said in New Delhi adding what he was saying is “official” stand of the party.
Twelve days after the results were out giving the Congress-NCP coalition a majority in the Assembly, the two parties are yet to sort out problems of portfolio distribution among them and give an indication as to when they would form the government.
As the term of the outgoing Assembly ends on Tuesday, the Governor called both Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Mr. Bhujbal separately and discussed with them the government formation.
Mr. Bhujbal told reporters after the meeting with Governor that it was for the Chief Minister to answer to why a government was not being formed.
Mr. Bhujbal said the NCP was ready to extend support to the new government from outside till it sorts out issues with the Congress.
“Congress should take the initiative to form the government. We are ready to give them support from outside but will join the ministry with honour after portfolio sharing issues is resolved,” he said.
Mr. Bhujbal said efforts to resolve differences on portfolio allocations were on and they may be resolved in a day or two. He said NCP wants the 10-year-old arrangement on portfolio sharing, like key portfolios of Home and Finance for the NCP, should continue even now.
Mr. Patel also said the NCP wants the 1999 formula to continue and that there should be no change in it.
Asked about Mr. Bhujbal’s comment on outside support, he said at no point has Mr. Bhujbal said that the NCP would not be part of the government.
“We have told the Governor that we will form the government at the earliest. The NCP will give full support for the new government,” he said.
The Union Minister said the NCP would participate in the government and it was normal that in a coalition a delay may be there in government formation. Even in 1999 and 2004 a two weeks’ time was taken for government formation, he said.