The Maha Vikas Aghadi, which ruled Maharashtra until the rebel Shiv Sainiks pulled the rug from under Uddhav Thackeray’s feet, is finally headed for an absolute split. The cause for the turmoil is the Shiv Sena’s unilateral move to recommend party legislator Ambadas Danve’s name for the post of leader of opposition (LoP) in the state council.
The Congress party, which was a junior partner in the former state government, claimed on Thursday that its tripartite alliance with the Shiv Sena and the NCP was not “natural” and permanent. Party state president Nana Patole said they have decided to go solo in the upcoming urban and rural body elections, and that every party has the right to strengthen its organisation.
Patole said, “The MVA alliance had taken place in an extraordinary situation with the sole objective of keeping the BJP out of power.”
The Congress had also staked its claim on the LoP post, but the legislature secretariat released the gazette notification recognising Danve’s appointment. Even the NCP is miffed that the Shiv Sena didn’t discuss the appointment among allies.
Patole hinted that under these circumstances the continuation of MVA is questionable. He said, “Whoever may be the choice for LoP, the discussion should have taken place.”
Patole’s criticism also came a day after former chief minister Ashok Chavan asserted that the Congress should have got the LoP’s post in the state council as the Sena holds the deputy chairperson’s post in the upper house, while the NCP has the LoP’s post in the state assembly.
The state NCP chief Jayant Patil also broke his silence and hinted that the party is not happy with the Sena’s LoP move. “It would have looked better if the Sena had discussed it with us. The NCP had held prior discussion with the Congress Legislature Party leader Balasaheb Thorat before submitting the letter to the state legislature secretariat for the appointment of Ajit Pawar as the LoP in the state assembly.”
Notably, the rift among the three parties is widening at a time when NCP chief Sharad Pawar and several other leaders are making a strong case for the formation of a non-BJP alliance for the next general elections.
Interestingly, though, Patil, Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal on Wednesday met Uddhav Thackeray and emphasised the need for MVA’s survival.