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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 07 December 2021 5.32 PM IST

Shiv Sena-NCP camaraderie worries Maharashtra Congress

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MUMBAI: The state leadership of the Congress is upset over the hobnobbing between its allies, Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), of late, as well as about the recent criticism against its central leadership.

Recently, deputy chief minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar told his party workers to adjust with Shiv Sena at local levels, as the two parties were looking at a long-standing alliance.

“Congress has always been getting secondary treatment in the ruling alliance. The MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly) from Shiv Sena and NCP have been getting special development funds. The municipal corporations and councils headed by Congress are not given the funds as the departments which release the money are held by the other two parties. Being the head of MVA government, chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray should personally look into these matters,” said Congress leader and former minister Arif Naseem Khan.

Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat and former CM Ashok Chavan had openly expressed their discontent on the secondary treatment given to the party in the alliance in the past.

Congress leaders also feel they may be pushed to an insignificant position during the upcoming major civic body elections. As many as 27 district councils of the total 34 and 15 of 27 municipal corporations are going to polls in the next two years.

“It is a simple equation in the local body elections. The party with the highest corporators in the local body will be the senior partner in the alliance at that level. In most of the civic corporations, Sena and NCP have their stronghold. We have a better understanding between us, but accommodating Congress in seat-sharing may become difficult in most of the cases,” said an NCP leader.

NCP’s recent move of poaching 18 Congress corporators in the Bhiwandi-Nizampur civic body has largely upset the state Congress leadership. The central leadership, too, had taken cognisance of the poaching and had summoned Thorat to Delhi. Party leaders feel the move was against the principles of the coalition as both the parties are part of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi. It has pinched the party leadership more because Shiv Sena managed to convince NCP to send its corporators back when the Sharad Pawar-led party had similarly poached Sena corporators in July.

“CM should have averted the crossover of our corporators,” said Khan.

A senior Shiv Sena leader, who did not wish to be named, said, “Congress corporators were upset with the local leadership and wanted to quit the party. They had approached us but we did not think it was proper to induct them. Had NCP not given them the entry, they would have gone to BJP. Rather than cursing the partners, the Congress should first try keep its own house in order by resolving the issues at right time.”

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s criticism against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by Sonia Gandhi has not gone well with the Congress in Maharashtra. Chavan said the Sena has no business to talk about UPA, as it is not yet a part of it.

Political analyst Hemant Desai said, “For strange reasons, the other two parties [Sena and NCP] have been cornering the Congress in the alliance. Sena and NCP have come close in the past few days and it may hurt the prospects of Congress at various levels.”

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TAGS: SHIV SENA, NCP, CONGRESS, HOBNOBBING, MVA GOVERNMENT, MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS, COUNCILS, SPECIAL DEVELOPMENT FUNDS, AJIT PAWAR, BALASAHEB THORAT, ASHOK CHAVAN, BHIWANDI-NIZAMPUR, SANJAY RAUT
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