Mumbai: After the month-long political drama, a new government of the Maha Vikas Aaghadi led by Uddhav Thackeray will be sworn in on Thursday at Shivaji Park.
Six ministers, including one deputy chief minister from the NCP, will be sworn in along with Uddhav. Two names are doing the rounds for the deputy chief minister’s post -- Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil.
"Ajit Pawar has excellent administrative skills and if we have to fight with the BJP, we need him," a senior NCP leader said.
A big take-away of the day was PM Modi congratulating Uddhav as he extended an invitation to the PM for the swearing-in ceremony. Invitations were also handed over personally by Aditya Thackeray and Milind Narvekar to Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.
Among those likely to be sworn in on Thursday are Jayant Patil, Eknath Shinde, Subhash Desai, Balasaheb Thorat and Vijay Wadettiwar.
Prithviraj Chavan may be appointed Speaker, though the name of Balasaheb Thorat is also doing the rounds. In the Congress, Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan, Vijay Wadettiwar, Nana Patole and Nitin Raut are lobbying hard for cabinet berths.
"We will expand our cabinet after the majority is proven in the assembly," said Praful Patel after a meeting of the MVA, which
was attended by Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, CM-designate Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar and Supriya Sule.
As per the agreement between the three key parties, the NCP will get the deputy CM post and that of the deputy Speaker.
Both the Congress and the NCP were fighting for the Speaker's post, which is key to the stability of the government; it also acts as a remote control. A consensus was reached to give the post to the Congress after a 3-hour long meeting at the YB Chavan Centre.
Uddhav, the first Thackeray and the third person from the Shiv Sena, will be sworn in at 6.40pm. The event at Shivaji Park is expected to be attended by more than a lakh of people.
Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and the Telugu Desam chief Chandrababu Naidu are scheduled to attend the swearing-in. An invitation has also gone to the CMs of all Congress-ruled states.