Updated: July 17, 2021 10:22:07 am
Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole speaks to The Indian Express on his statements about fighting the next Assembly polls solo, expanding the party’s base, election of Assembly Speaker and other issues.
You have been repeatedly saying that Congress will fight the polls solo, which has not gone down well with allies Shiv Sena and NCP.
I am following the mandate given to me by the party leadership on expanding Congress’ base in the state. I am not criticising Shiv Sena, NCP or the state government, but targeting our political opponent BJP on multiple issues.
Every party has the right to expand its base. Shiv Sena and NCP are also doing it. Congress workers are there in every village, tehsil and district and they have faith in the party’s ideology.
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I am re-energising party workers and strengthening the party base.
Would you agree with the perception that your statements are a sign of differences within the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, and that they are leading to speculation about its stability?
I am not part of the government. I am making statements as the state Congress chief.
The government is being run on a common minimum programme.
For any issue in the government, there is a coordination committee of two ministers each from the three parties to resolve them.
There is hectic lobbying in Congress for the post of Assembly Speaker, the election for which was to be held in the Monsoon Season of the legislature but has been deferred again.
There is no lobbying in the Congress. The party will propose the name of the person for the post whenever election is held.
Is it true that you want a ministerial berth in the state Cabinet but it has led to a lot of differences within the party?
My nature is that I like to give justice to the post that I hold. When I was the Assembly Speaker, I did a lot of work and held meetings on various issues to give justice to the post and to the people.
Similarly, as state Congress president, I want to give justice to the post. So, I am focused on strengthening the party base and re-energising party workers.
How do you plan to strengthen your party?
There is a lot of anger among the people against the Modi government on issues such as price rise, hike in fuel prices, anti-farmers bills, mismanagement of the Covid-19 situation, vaccination drive and prevailing financial hardship.
The people are looking for an option and Congress is the only alternative to BJP. I am raising my voice against BJP on people’s issues.
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