Aware Of Shiv Sena’s Tantrums On Issues Congress Demands Pre-Decided Common Minimum Program Before Lending SupportSonia Gandhi (Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

Aware of tantrums of the Shiv Sena on issues on which Congress is not comfortable, the top leadership of the Congress wants a common minimum programme (CMP) to be firmed up before moving ahead on forging a new political formation in the state.

Congress sources said on Tuesday (12 November) that consensus first needs to be arrived at between it and coalition partner NCP, after which talks can be held with Shiv Sena on the issue of support.

Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and K C Venugopal, who rushed to Mumbai to hold talks with NCP chief Sharad Pawar, were mandated to discuss contours of the alliance and the CMP, the sources said.

According to the sources, Congress is looking at benefits in terms of Rajya Sabha seats, as the UPA numbers in the Upper House of Parliament have been shrinking over last several months.

There are two views within the Congress. While the state leadership wants partnership in the government, the central leadership is inclined only to extend outside support and bargain for seats for the Upper House in Parliament.

One of the possible scenarios for Congress could be that in case of outside support, it could seek the posts of Assembly Speaker and Chairman of the Legislative Council, which have key role during a coalition government.

The Congress may also seek posts in Municipality and Corporations to accommodate its leaders.

If the party decides to be part of the coalition, then it could be equal in terms of the sharing of ministerial berth and a Deputy CM post.

Sources say that NCP may push for rotational Chief Ministership but it will depend on negotiations.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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