In the midst of growing trust deficit among the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) partners and the state Congress chief Nana Patole’s “under watch” allegation, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday met the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The meeting went on for half-an-hour and the duo have discussed the current political scenario, especially in the backdrop of Patole’s repeated announcements of going solo, despite being reprimanded by the Congress high command.
Pawar, who will leave for Delhi on Friday for the Parliament monsoon session, also discussed at length the restoration of Maratha quota in educational institutions and workforce. He also discussed 27% political quota for Other Backward Classes in the local bodies. The state government has already sought the Centre’s intervention to amend the Constitution to restore the Maratha quota and provide empirical data for the restoration of OBC quota. The MVA partners will take up these issues to attract the Centre’s attention during the monsoon session. Both the NCP and Sena have expressed serious displeasure over Patole’s repeated announcements on going solo. Pawar and Thackeray separately said there was an agreement among the three parties to run the government but they were free to expand. However, they fear that Patole’s statements may vitiate atmosphere among the MVA partners, giving scope for the BJP to target it.
The meeting was important as the government proposes to amend rules to conduct the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker’s election through voice vote. The BJP has already opposed the move and claimed that despite making loud claim of a majority the MVA government is scared to face the voting. Further, the fate of three bills tabled by the state government to amend three Central farm laws also came up for discussion.