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Internal contradictions within Congress-NCP delays Cabinet formation

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New Delhi, Nov 30: The Uddhav Thackeray-led alliance of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress may have it easy at the assembly today when it faces the floor test. The alliance claims that it has the support of over 162 MLAs, which is way ahead of the magic mark of 145.

Following the trust vote, there would be several issues for the alliance to sort out. There appears to be some disagreement on the post of deputy chief minister. Earlier, it was said that this post would go to the NCP and the Congress would have its Speaker.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray along with NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena MLAs during a gathering to display their strength of 162, at Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai

However, now the Congress has made a claim for the post of deputy CM and the NCP has shot this down. Further discussions on this issue would be held by the national leaders of both the parties next week.

Maharashtra Floor Test LIVE: Cong picks Nana Patole as its Speaker candidate

These disagreements have led to the postponement of the Cabinet meeting. A Cabinet meeting was to be held immediately after the floor test today. However there are some issues that would need to be ironed out before the same is finalised, a Congress leader informed OneIndia.

The Congress has upped the ante and asked for the post of Deputy CM as it does not want to be left behind. It indicated to the NCP that it would let go of the Speaker's post and take up the deputy CM's post instead. The NCP has however shot down this idea.

Discussions on this issue are on between state Congress chief, Balasaheb Thorat and NCP boss, Sharad Pawar. There were discussions on Friday as well, but they remained inconclusive.

The other point of contention between the two parties was the person to be nominated as Speaker. The NCP was not happy with the decision of the Congress to nominate Prithviraj Chavan as the Speaker.

Maharashtra: Floor test may be just a formality, but the real drama follows later

For the post of Speaker, the NCP asked the Congress to suggest three names. The NCP it may be recalled had recommended three names for the post of Speaker in 1999 when it formed the government with the Congress. Although the Congress has not agreed to the condition, it has the names of Varsha Gaikwad and K C Padvi ready in case the nomination of Chavan does not go through.

Although the alliance had time until December 3 to take the floor test, it decided to go ahead with it immediately. Getting through with this process would mean that one hurdle is cleared. The rest of the differences can be ironed out over the next week, party leaders said.

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