With NCP leaders reportedly trying to join hands with Raj Thackeray-led MNS for the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state, the Congress on Friday said it would not accept either MNS or AIMIM in their alliance at any level. “The Congress and NCP are in discussion for pre-poll alliance and would declare the decision at the appropriate moment. The Congress has also invited Prakash Ambedkar of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) and we are awaiting a response to the proposal sent to the party,” said state Congress chief Ashok Chavan.
He said the party had clarified that it would not tie up with the AIMIM for polls and the alliance with BBM is being proposed as the AIMIM has declared it would not contest Lok Sabha elections in the state.
On the speculation of NCP leaders reaching out to MNS for the election alliance, state Congress chief said, “We are against alliance with MNS or AIMIM at any level. The Congress would urge other alliance partners to keep distance from the two parties.”
Chavan said the state unit has recommended to the party high command names of possible candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, but the candidature would be declared on elective merit. “Those with elective merit would be the party candidate in the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.
Later in the rally, which is part of the 50 ‘Sangharsh Sabha’ planned across the state, Chavan said the BJP-led government had increased the sufferings of the farmers. “They have made a mockery of farmers by declaring Rs 500 per month to them. The amount offered to farmers is less than the minimum wage,” he said.
The chief minister has only one response to every issue that he was studying the matter, Chavan said, “No one knows when the chief minister will stop studying the issues and take a decision. It is time to make him sit out of power and study the issues.”
The young daughters of farmers in Puntamabe were on hunger strike to highlight the sufferings of farmers, but no one from the government had time to meet them, he said.
Chavan said it was after the Jansangharsh Yatra of the Congress — in which state leaders travelled 6,500 km — the BJP-led government came under pressure to take the drought situation seriously and declare drought in parts of the state. “The government declared drought but it remained only on paper, as the farmers have not got any help so far,” he said.