The Congress and NCP are divided over whether late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s or NCP president Sharad Pawar’s name should be mentioned first in a resolution praising their parliamentary life and contribution, in the monsoon session beginning Monday. A resolution commemorating the parliamentary life and contributions of the former prime minister, NCP president, BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay and senior legislator Ganpat Deshmukh will be discussed and adopted in the state legislative assembly and council.
While the Congress believes Gandhi’s political stature is higher and deserves priority, the NCP has demanded that Pawar’s political contribution should get preference in the state. Failing to reconcile their differences, the Congress and NCP held two separate meetings to draw up a strategy for the monsoon session, which concluded with two separate media interactions.
NCP leaders did not attend the meeting convened by Leader of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil on Sunday. As a result, Vikhe-Patil was left with only Congress leaders at the meeting. Whereas, in the adjoining office, senior NCP leaders led by state chief Sunil Tatkare, former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar along with other members held a meeting.
A senior Congress member in the state legislature council wrote a letter to the chairman of the council, Ramraje Nimbalkar, urging him to give priority to Gandhi over Pawar in the resolution. “Since December 2014, we decided to work together and have taken several initiatives. The Congress communicated directly to the chairman. So we felt that the Congress does not feel the need to work together with us. Since it took an independent stand, we also decided to have our separate stand,” said Tatkare.
He argued that Pawar is the only leader in the country who has served all the four Houses – state assembly, council, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The Congress feels NCP’s decision to divide the Opposition cannot be justified. After all, Gandhi was the prime minister of the country and is recognised worldwide, it said.