Updated: September 21, 2021 11:19:23 pm
In a manifestation of differences in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi alliance at the district level across the state, former Union minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete attacked the NCP, saying that its chief Sharad Pawar, who “backstabbed” the Congress to form the NCP, cannot be a “guru” for Shiv Sainiks.
The MVA government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress is merely an “adjustment for power”, Geete added.
The Shiv Sena distanced itself from Geete’s remarks.
Speaking at a party function in Raigad on Monday, Geete said, “The NCP was formed after backstabbing the Congress. No matter how many titles the world may give him (Pawar), he cannot be our guru. Our guru is only (late) Balasaheb Thackeray. The Mahavikas Aghadi is merely an adjustment for power.”
Pawar is considered the architect of the MVA government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, which came to power in November 2019 after the fallout between Sena and BJP.
Stating that he does not have any “ill-intention” towards the Sena-led MVA government, Geete said, “As long as this government is functioning, it will go on… If we separate, our home is Shiv Sena. And we will have to stick with our party and need to strengthen it. We don’t need to think about the Aghadi (MVA alliance) but need to think of retaining power at the local bodies in our areas. The senior leaders of the party will take a call on what should be done at the state level,” he added.
Geete was defeated in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by NCP candidate Sunil Tatkare. A six-time MP from Raigad, Geete had served as Union Minister for Heavy Industries in the first Narendra Modi government. Following his defeat in the 2019 polls, Geete been away from public life and has differences with the NCP unit in Raigad.
Almost two years since coming together, the leaders of the Sena, NCP and Congress have kept their differences aside, but party workers at the local level continue to have differences in many districts.
Elections to 10 municipal corporations and 25 zilla parishads, including Raigad, which is considered a “mini assembly” in political parlance, are likely to be held early next year and will be the first test by the people of the MVA government on its performance.
“Congress is also Congress and NCP is also Congress. But were they looking at each other’s faces? Were the Congress and NCP cordial? Do they have the same ideology? If the Congress and NCP cannot become one, then Shiv Sena will never toe the Congress’s ideology,” Geete said.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, speaking to mediapersons, said this could be Geete’s personal opinion. “Sharad Pawar is a national leader and at this moment, we are together in the government which is functioning properly… he is not connected with the government… some leaders may have personal opinions,” said Raut.
Sunil Tatkare, NCP MP from Raigad, said, “The statement seems to have come out of frustration. It does not matter what he says, as it is akin to spitting on the sun. Pawar saheb is a national leader and the architect of the MVA. Uddhav ji has been leading the alliance ably.”
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