Monday, December 09, 2019
facebook
Nation

Posted at: Nov 20, 2019, 6:51 AM; last updated: Nov 20, 2019, 6:51 AM (IST)

Pawar detractors in Cong holding up Maha alliance

Lobby at work against Maratha chieftain

  • A Congress leader has said there are leaders in the Congress who have been traditionally opposed to NCP chief Sharad Pawar
  • The anti-Pawar lobby is worried that they would be sidelined if the Maratha chieftain puts together a government headed by Sena
Pawar detractors in Cong holding up Maha alliance
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar

Shiv Kumar

Tribune News Service

Mumbai, November 19

A section of the old guard in the Maharashtra unit of the Congress party, which has long been suspicious of Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, is said to be working behind the scenes to stymie the alliance of the two outfits with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, according to sources here.

Pawar’s opponents in the Congress have been working on senior party leaders like KC Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge ever since the Shiv Sena showed signs of breaking up with the BJP shortly after the Maharashtra Assembly elections in Maharashtra.

“There are leaders in the Congress party who have been traditionally opposed to Pawar. These leaders came into their own shortly after the Maratha strongman broke away to form the NCP 20 years ago,” says a Mumbai-based Congress leader who keeps tabs on his party colleagues in Western Maharashtra.

The anti-Pawar lobby in the Congress is worried that they would be sidelined if the Maratha chieftain puts together a government headed by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with the non-BJP parties becoming part of the coalition. This group has warned the Congress party leadership that would lose its support among the minorities in other parts of the country if it aligns with a communal outfit like the Shiv Sena.

Congress party leaders who are keen on joining the government led by the Shiv Sena are doing their own lobbying with the central leadership of the party. This group has found support from former Congress MLA from Sillod, Abdul Sattar, who quit the party and won from the same seat as a Shiv Sena candidate. Sources say Sattar had spoken to the

Congress party’s intemediaries and vouched for the support of the Shiv Sena among the Muslims of Maharashtra. Sources say, the example of Sattar played a major role in convincing senior Congress party leaders about tying up with the Shiv Sena.

With the Congress high command veering towards becoming part of an alliance with the Shiv Sena, the loyalists are pushing for a bigger share of the power pie. This group is pushing for former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, an old rival of Pawar, to be made Speaker of the Assembly. The Speaker’s role is seen as crucial should cracks develop between the three partners down the line, according to sources here.

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On