Mumbai: In a meeting of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) held here on Tuesday which was attended by several senior leaders of the party including state cabinet ministers and All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary and party in-charge for Maharashtra HK Patil, every leader was of the view that Congress should go solo in all the upcoming elections including the local body polls and bigger elections like Assembly and Lok Sabha elections too, in Maharashtra.
A leader who attended the meeting told ANI that it was not only the senior ministers and MPCC office bearers who attended this meeting but almost all district presidents and other office-bearers across the state attended the meeting through virtual medium and everyone was of the view that Congress should prepare to contest alone.
The leader further said that the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance in Maharashtra is only to run the present government and this was never meant for any electoral coalition.
After almost all leaders strongly demanded to go solo in the upcoming local body elections and other elections, the party does not have many options left other than to consider the demand of its leaders and cadre on the ground.
Though the leader stated that there is no danger to the present MVA government as Congress had already said that this government will complete its full tenure of five years.
While speaking to the media after the meeting Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole said, "Every party has a right to expand its base and we are also doing the same thing and whenever I say about expanding our party, I don't understand why there is so much hue and cry. When similar things are done by Sharad Pawar ji and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also for their parties, no one says a word. I fail to understand that why there are so many media reports about my similar statements of strengthening Congress in Maharashtra?" Meanwhile, after his statement "Congress' growing influence in Maharashtra" stirred a row, Nana Patole, the State Congress Chief, on Tuesday stated that one should understand the difference between government and party functioning.
"It is the duty of the leadership of every party to encourage their cadre. We should understand government functioning is different and party functioning is different," Patole said in a press conference here.
On Tuesday, Patole had said that his party will emerge as number one in the state, maintaining that everything is fine in the alliance.
"People will see, Congress in Maharashtra will become the number one party in the state. Many people are miffed over the party's growing influence over the state," he had said amidst reports of the growing rift between Maharashtra's ruling alliance -- Maha Vikas Aghadi.
On Maratha and Other Backward Class (OBC) reservation, he said: "In today's Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) meeting, we discussed issues of Maratha and OBC reservations. Our leaders will meet Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on this issue and we will take forward our demand from the Centre to provide necessary data to give reservation to these communities."