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|October 12, 1999||
NCP gives up claim on chief ministership in Maharashtra
The prospects of a Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government in Maharashtra brightened Today when the NCP decided to adopt a flexible stand on the issue of chief ministership and offered to consider a 'package deal' for power sharing.
''The chief ministership issue is negotiable and we are ready to talk on a package deal,'' NCP spokesperson Vasant Chavan said in Bombay
Later, taking to newspersons, NCP president Chhagan Bhujbal said the chief minister's post was not the only issue and that the two parties need to discuss several other matters to facilitate the formation of a secular government.
He said the NCP would resume talks with the Congress tomorrow wherein seven issues, including that of the chief ministership, deputy chief ministership, speakership, sharing of key portfolios, chairmanship of corporations and representation in gram panchayats, would be thrashed out.
Chavan, while ruling out a merger, also made it clear that there was no question of split in the NCP. ''The NCP is intact and for that matter so is the Congress,'' he said.
To a question about the NCP forging an alliance with the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine, as has been suggested by senior party leaders Purno Sangma and Sudkrarao Naik, the spokesman said these were personal views of the two leaders.
Meanwhile in New Delhi, Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal said that having emerged as the single largest party in Maharashtra, the Congress deserved the chief minister's post.
The party has already offered the post of deputy chief minister to the NCP, he said.
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