"There is no question of NCP deciding candidate for the Speaker's post," Pawar told reporters here.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar said on Friday that as per the agreement between constituents of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, his party is supposed to get the post of deputy chief minister, while the Speaker would be from the Congress. Pawar’s statement followed reports that the Congress is now demanding deputy chief minister’s post, and is ready to give up the Speaker’s post to the NCP.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as Maharashtra chief minister on Thursday alongwith two ministers each from the Sena, NCP and Congress. “There is no question of NCP deciding candidate for the Speaker’s post,” Pawar told reporters here. The Speaker is likely to be elected on Saturday when the Thackeray government may face floor test.
“It was decided (in the meeting of top leaders of the three parties) that chief minister will be from Shiv Sena, deputy CM from NCP and Speaker’s post will go to the Congress and deputy Speaker’s post to the NCP,” Ajit Pawar said. To a question about cabinet expansion, set to take place after December 3, Pawar said chief minister Thackeray will take a call on it. Sources in the Congress said that the party is now seeking deputy chief minister’s post.
“The party had earlier sought Speaker’s post, and it was agreed on among three parties. But it is now seeking the deputy chief minister’s post and is ready to give up Speaker’s post to NCP,” a Congress leader said. Another Congress leader said the party was not averse to the idea of two deputy chief ministers (one from Congress and one from NCP). “The chief minister and his deputy/deputies are the face of the government. That is why Congress is seeking the post,” he said.