Defection in Bhiwandi-Nizampur is wake-up call: Cong leader

A senior functionary of the Congress in Maharashtra on Friday said the state leadership should take serious note of 18 corporators of the party in Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation joining the ally NCP.

Vinayakrao Deshmukh, the state Congress general secretary, said in an open letter to party workers that this was a wake-up call.

Eighteen Congress corporators including deputy mayor of Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation joined the NCP on Wednesday in the presence of senior NCP leaders Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil.

"Wake up or the situation would go out of hand. The party cannot be just content with being a partner in the Maha Vikas Aghadi and getting ministerial berths," he said.

While the Shiv Sena has bagged the chief minister's post, the NCP too is aggressive, Deshmukh said.

"Congress workers in the state are restless. NCP leaders (recently) told their cadres to adjust with Shiv Sena and then inducted Congress corporatorsin the party. This is not just a coincidence," he said.

Earlier, some Shiv Sena councilors in Parnerin Ahmednagar district had joined the Sharad Pawar-led party but they later returned to the Sena's fold, Deshmukh noted.

"It was decided that defection between allies should be discouraged. Why should then Congress corporators be inducted in the NCP?" he asked.

State party leadership should demand answers from the allies in the coordination committee otherwise the Congress would end up being the "biggest loser" in the ruling alliance, Deshmukh said.

Meanwhile, a senior Shiv Sena leader said the Congress corporators left the party because of a factional feud in the local unit.

"They had approached us but we did not respond. If the NCP had not admitted them in the party, they would have joined the BJP," he claimed.

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