The Congress-NCP divide 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 saw Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis intervening to find an amicable solution to end the deadlock. Instead, of clubbing the Gandhi and Pawar resolutions together, Fadnavis suggested to have the discussions on two separate days. The Congress back-tracked, paving the way for the NCP to have its way to adopt and debate the work of Sharad Pawar, followed by Indira Gandhi.
To settle the deadlock, Fadnavis suggested the Congress-NCP to work out three different days for discussing the works of each leaders. A discussion on Pawar and senior legislator Ganpatrao Deshmukh will be on August 5, and on August 8, a discussion on Gandhi would be held. A couple of days later, there would be a third debate on BJP ideologues Deendayal Upadhyay, Nanaji Deshmukh and Balasaheb Desai.
The Congress-NCP tussle over the resolution had its impact on the Monsoon Session that commenced Monday. Both parties failed to evolve a joint strategy to take on the ruling BJP-led government in the state Assembly and the Council. In an effort to set aside the differences, Leader of the Opposition in state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil approached NCP leaders and invited them for a discussion. The NCP leaders reciprocated with a rider saying the meeting will take place in the office allocated to the former Speaker (NCP) Dilip Walse Patil.
At the meeting, the top leadership of the NCP led by Ajit Pawat, Sunil Tatkare and Walse-Patil expressed its displeasure over the Congress’ decision to write a letter to the Chairperson of the Council seeking higher priority for Gandhi over Pawar. “We have highest regards for Indira Gandhi. But Congress’ letter was an insult to Sharad Pawar, whose contribution to Maharashtra is incomparable,” a senior NCP leader said.
The NCP also told the state leaders to realise how much importance AICC president Sonia Gandhi and AICC Vice- President Rahul Gandhi give to Pawar. While responding to Congress leaders who tried to argue that Indira Gandhi’s centenary celebrations mandated her felicitation in the state, an NCP leader asked: “Show us one programme that you have conducted on Indira Gandhi.”