Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party chief
Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party chief
PTI Photo

While everyone is hailing the old warhorse Sharad Pawar as the architect of Maha Vikas Aghadi- the unlikely coalition of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP, but it is Congress leaders like Prithviraj Chavan and Husain Dalwai, along with Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut who first dreamt of such an alliance.

When the election results were out on October 24, no party could touch the magical figure. Also, Shiv Sena made it extremely clear that they wouldn't be satisfied unless they get the Chief Minister's post.

It was Prithviraj Chavan who first hinted at such a possibility. Asked if there was a possibility of Congress, NCP and Sena joining hands Chavan had told The Indian Express, “Why not ? We will do everything to stop BJP, which is indulging in vendetta politics.”

Congress’ Hussain Dalwai wrote to Sonia that the “communal” BJP must be kept out of power. Senior leaders Gulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel were both positive about tying up with Shiv Sena. Dalwai told The Indian Express, “I told Soniaji that Sena was a regional party and not a threat to Congress at the national level. Its Hindutva was nationalistic and not communal like BJP’s.”

Saamana editor and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut was always confident of Sena getting the highest post. He said, “Congress leaders, since the formation of the state in 1960, till it was in power last time, have immensely contributed to the development of Maharashtra… parties like BJP refuse to acknowledge this. Congress doesn’t talk of finishing off Sena like BJP does…”

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