As the picture is clear in Maharashtra now that the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress will form the government in the state and modalities are being finalised, “the three parties want to form a stable government which will be development-oriented” said NCP chief Sharad Pawar today. A Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government will be formed and it will complete five-year term he said as he ruled out the possibility of mid-term polls in Maharashtra which is currently under Presidents rule.

While talking to reports, the NCP chief said, “There is no possibility of mid-term polls. This government will be formed and it will complete five years. We all will ensure this government runs for five years.”

He said the three parties are at present working out a common minimum programme (CMP) that will guide the actions of the government being planned in the state.

Representatives of the three parties met in Mumbai on Thursday and prepared a draft CMP.

The veteran leader also took swipe at the former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for his remark that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government will not survive for more than six months. “I know Devendra ji for some years. But I did not know he is a student of astrology too”, Pawar quipped.

Pawar when asked about Shiv Sena’s Hindutva credentials, the 78-year-old leader said that the Congress and the NCP always talk about secularism. “The Congress or NCP always talk about secularism. We are not against Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism. But we are the people who insist on secularism when it comes to running a government. I don’t know yet what was the discussion among our allies on this issue,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena’s spokesman Sanjay Raut said, “Maharashtra’s next government will be led by the Shiv Sena and the common minimum programme (CMP) being worked out along with the Congress and the NCP ahead of its formation will be in the state’s interest.”

NCP leader Nawab Malik also reiterated similar view. He said, “The rift between Shiv Sena and BJP was over the CM post. So we are not going to contest for the CM post. The CM will be from Shiv Sena.”

The BJP and Shiv Sena, which fought the October 21 state elections in alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member Assembly. But they did not form the government because the Shiv Sena did not give up on its demand of 50:50 partnership in the government formation and the post of chief minister on rotational basis for 2.5 years for both the parties. The BJP on the other hand did not cede to the Sena’s demand of sharing the chief minister”s post, leading to falling apart of the nearly three-decade-old alliance.

The Congress and NCP won 44 and 54 seats, respectively, in the last month’s polls.

The Sena reached out to the Congress-NCP combine for government formation after its demand for sharing the chief minister’s post and equal distribution of portfolios was rejected by the BJP, its pre-poll ally.

President’s rule was imposed in the state on Tuesday after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari sent a report to the Centre, stating that formation of a stable government was impossible in the current situation despite all his efforts.

At a meeting on Thursday, the appointed leaders of the Congress, the NCP and the Sena prepared a draft CMP. Now it will be forwarded for approval to top leaders of the three parties.

The meeting was attended by Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil, NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal and party’s chief spokesperson Nawab Malik; Congress leaders Prithviraj Chavan, Manikrao Thakare and Vijay Wadettiwar, and Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai of the Shiv Sena.

The three parties will meet the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at 3 pm tomorrow to discuss about “governance failure” on the issue of farmers and rising unemployment, according to reports.