Next Maha CM will be Sena's, NCP hasn't sought post: Manikrao

Mumbai, Nov 22 (PTI) The next Maharashtra chiefminister will be from the Shiv Sena and the Sharad Pawar-ledNCP has not demanded the top post during state-level meetingson government formation, Congress leader Manikrao Thakare saidon Friday.

Sources suggested that the chief ministerial post maygo to the Shiv Sena for five years.

Thakare also said that leaders of the three partieswill sit together later on Friday to clarify some pendingissues and also to decide the time to approach Governor BhagatSingh Koshyari to stake claim for forming government.

'The chief minister will be from the Shiv Sena...TheNCP did not demand the chief minister's post at the state-level meetings. The Congress, too, did not make any suchdemand,' he said.

He made the statement before attending a joint meetingof the Congress and NCP with their pre-poll small allies here.

Asked whether the chief ministerial post will remainwith the Shiv Sena for five years, a senior Congress leadersaid, 'It may happen so. Don't think anyone else (other thanthe Shiv Sena) will insist on it (five-year term).' Meanwhile, Thakare said the Shiv Sena, NCP andCongress are holding their internal meetings and will decidethe timing of their joint meeting later.

The Congress is also scheduled to elect itslegislature party leader later in the day.

AICC general secretaries Mallikarjun Kharge and K CVenugopal are expected to attend the meeting to elect thelegislature party leader.

A motley alliance of the once-rival parties is beingstitched in Maharashtra, which has been placed under thePresident's rule since November 12.

The BJP and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena hadcontested the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly polls jointlyand won 105 and 56 seats respectively.

However, the saffron partners fell out after the Senapersisted with its demand for sharing the chief minister'spost on rotational basis.

Now in a bid to form a government, the Sena is intalks with the NCP and Congress, who have won 54 and 44 seatsrespectively in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. PTI ENMNP NP