New Delhi: From 500 square-foot homes for slum dwellers to determining who is a ‘migrant’ in Maharashtra, the common minimum programme (CMP) of the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena alliance addresses contradictory ideologies of the three parties and their aspirations for the state.
Speaking to ThePrint, NCP and Congress leaders said manifestos of the three parties have been clubbed together to arrive at a common ground.
With the Ayodhya dispute behind them, the parties have skirted conversations about the Ram Temple calling it a “non-issue”.
For the Congress, getting Maharashtra-centric Sena “agree to” uphold Constitution is an important step towards “settling” the issue of difference of ideologies.
“Shiv Sena has agreed to uphold the Constitution, that is what is important,” said a Maharashtra Congress leader.
The CMP strongly focuses on relief for farmers, unemployment and migrant labour issues. It also includes a key promise made by former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi ahead of the Maharashtra elections — 500 square-foot homes for every slum dweller in Mumbai.
“Rahul ji promised 500 square feet of land to slum dwellers in Mumbai,” said the Congress leader. “That has been included in the CMP.”
Another key promise made by the Congress — farmers’ distress — has also been addressed in the agreement. “Farmers are a focus for both Rahul and Sonia,” another Congress functionary told ThePrint, adding Sonia plans to appoint a committee under Jairam Ramesh to assess the situation in Maharashtra.
The CMP had been sent to Sonia for approval last week ahead of BJP’s ‘midnight coup’ Saturday when Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the chief minister after NCP’s Ajit Pawar reportedly pledged support to the BJP to form government in the state.
Pawar Tuesday resigned as the deputy chief minister, forcing Fadnavis to also quit as the CM. The Congress-Sena-NCP alliance, named the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, staked claim to form government and met Governor B.S. Koshyari Tuesday evening with a letter of support of 166 MLAs.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be sworn in as the Maharashtra chief minister Thursday.
Also read: Ajit Pawar saved himself but BJP stands completely exposed now, Shiv Sena says in Saamana
Migrants and unemployment
The issue of migrant labourers, another issue that is pivotal to Maharashtra politics, has also been taken up in the CMP.
“The issue was flagged by (NCP spokesperson) Nawab Malik,” a source in the NCP told ThePrint. Both the Congress and the NCP wanted to “clear the air” on this contentious issue with the Sena.
“No one can disagree on what an ‘illegal migrant’ is,” said the Maharashtra Congress leader quoted above. “But those working in the state should not be harassed unnecessarily.”
The issue of unemployment also figures prominently in the CMP, the leader added.
‘In-principle’ approval of CMP
Earlier this week, Sonia led a protest by opposition parties, including the Shiv Sena, on the Parliament premises against the BJP’s move to form government in Maharashtra.
Sonia, who was initially reluctant to ally with the Sena due to ideological differences, was “swayed by party veterans” and has in-principle approved the CMP.
“All things that can be a hindrance to the alliance were discussed in exhaustive meetings about the CMP,” former Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakare told ThePrint.
Prithviraj Chavan, a former CM of the state, also told ThePrint that discussions between the three parties are likely to continue to work out the nuances of the alliance.
Power-sharing still in works
Now that the alliance will form a government in the state, all eyes are also on the power-sharing equations between the three parties.
“All preparations were happening for the floor test. Power-sharing will be worked out now,” said a second Maharashtra Congress member.
According to the first Congress leader quoted above, there is a possibility that the chief minister’s post will not be shared between the Sena and the NCP.
“We have asked for the post of speaker. But there is no clarity yet,” he said.
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A thought could also be spared for Bombay’s builders, a pale shadow of what they once were. Kept many previous administrations afloat.
Rahul Baba Plan will bring Vadra in picture for land and DLF housing scheme, he is realty business expert in getting land for gov and making it NA.
Left right center saying Jai socialism in chorus. Yak thooo.
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