Updated: June 18, 2021 10:40:36 am
Even as the Shiv Sena on Thursday said it will contest future elections in alliance with the NCP, the latter, however, said it was confident that all three constituents of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi — Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena — will contest parliamentary and assembly elections together.
“BJP and Congress are preparing to contest elections on their own. If every party is trying to do so, then Shiv Sena and NCP, keeping in view the interests of Maharashtra, will have to contest the elections in alliance. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar are keen on such an alliance,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece, Saamana, said on Thursday.
“The Congress is an important constituent of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. However, Congress is at the third spot in Maharashtra. MPCC chief Nana Patole, by making the announcement of Congress contesting elections on its own, has tried to infuse confidence in the party rank and file,” the editorial said.
Patole seemed to have no confusion in his mind as to who will be the next chief minister, stated Saamana. “Patole has confidently said that Congress will come to power and the chief minister will also be from the Congress. There is no confusion in his mind as to who will be the chief minister. He said he will be the chief minister if the party gives him permission. But Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has said the party which gets 145 MLAs in the elections will form the government and will have its chief minister as well… There is nothing wrong in having big political ambitions in politics but if you don’t have the numbers, what is the use of all the song and dance,” it further asked.
The BJP has also raised the issue of contesting elections on its own, said the editorial. “BJP leader Raosaheb Danve has said that BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is not possible in the future. Therefore, BJP will have to contest elections on its own..,” it said.
“Danve said that in politics, there are no permanent enemies and friends. This is very true… Danve is a prominent leader of the party. Whatever he says cannot be ignored. 2024 elections are still far away. But major political parties are raising the issue of elections. Are they trying to make efforts to hold elections earlier than scheduled? In Maharashtra, no party would like to strike an alliance with the BJP. Therefore, it is inevitable for the BJP to contest elections on its own,” the editorial said.
When approached for comments on the Shiv Sena’s stance, NCP state spokesperson Umesh Patil said, “It is true that the CM and our party chief have spoken about contesting elections together in alliance. Sena is a party which keeps its word. Though the Shiv Sena is saying that Sena and NCP will fight future elections, NCP will take along Congress, as well as other smaller parties which are part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. We are confident that parliamentary and assembly elections will be fought in alliance by the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.”
Patil said Patole’s statement was important from his party’s point of view. “If Patole says the Congress will contest elections on its own, then it means he is trying to raise hope among the party rank and file. Otherwise, leaders who know that their particular seat will go to an alliance partner… they go on to switch sides. We think his statement is aimed at strengthening the Congress,” Patil said.
Last week, NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had said that the three parties had come together after Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had taken the decision to join hands and form the government. “In the future too, they will take a decision regarding the alliance of the three parties,” he had said.
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