Maha Cong, NCP leaders in war of words over “merger” remarks

Mumbai: NCP today targeted senior Congress minister in Maharashtra government Patangrao Kadam for suggesting that the 15-year-old party should merge with Congress.

“Patangrao Kadam is not that senior to advice Sharad Pawar. He better concentrate on strengthening Congress party,” state NCP president Sunil Tatkare said.

“Instead of giving free advice, he better pay attention to bring secular government (in Maharashtra),” Tatkare said.

“Patangrao Kadam has a good sense of humour but I have yet not seen anyone taking him seriously in Congress,” the NCP leader tweeted.

Kadam, forest minister, had said yesterday that it is the right time for NCP president Sharad Pawar to merge his party with the Congress.

“It is high time that Pawar decides to merge his party with the Congress. History shows that when NCP goes for an alliance with the Congress, NCP defectors spell trouble for the Congress during polls.

“Later, such rebel NCP leaders are rewarded by the Pawar-led party by making them directors of co-operative banks or giving them important posts,” Kadam had said.

Kadam had made the statement in the presence of Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Manikrao Thakre.

While Chavan had said that Kadam made the suggestion “with good intentions”, Thakre had made it clear that it was Kadam’s personal opinion.

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