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Patole dismisses speculation about second deputy CM post, says aims to make Congress no.1 party in Maharashtra

Addressing mediapersons at a 'Meet the Press' programme organised by the Patrakar Club of Nagpur, Patole said, "There is no discussion going on about another deputy CM post."

By: Express News Service | Nagpur |
February 11, 2021 12:52:23 am
Patole said, "The file has been pending with the Governor, who is not signing it. It's murder of democracy. We will certainly move the court on this issue." (File)

Newly-appointed Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Nana Patole on Wednesday said there was no discussion going on about a second deputy chief minister being chosen from his party.

Addressing mediapersons at a ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised by the Patrakar Club of Nagpur, Patole said, “There is no discussion going on about another deputy CM post.”

The speculations arose following a statement by Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar of the Congress, who said an OBC leader should be made deputy CM. The name of Energy Minister Nitin Raut has also been making rounds for the post.

With Patole recently stepping down from the post of Assembly Speaker, it has been widely speculated that the post might go to the Shiv Sena and the Congress might be “compensated” with a second deputy chief minister’s post, which is being created for it.

On the issue of the list of 12 nominations for the Legislative Council held up at Raj Bhavan, Patole said, “The Maha Vikas Aghadi will move High Court against Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for not clearing the names of 12 persons nominated to the Legislative Council.”

Patole further said, “The file has been pending with the Governor, who is not signing it. It’s murder of democracy. We will certainly move the court on this issue.”

He, however, added, “Actually, the Governor is a very good man… he is probably under instructions from Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.”

Earlier this week, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had, during a press conference in Nagpur, said that warning to move the court and actually moving the court were two different things.

Asked if he would review the performance of Congress ministers in the state cabinet and punish those found wanting in the job, Patole said, “Reviewing performances is my job. Punishment is for the high command to decide on.”

About Congress ministers reportedly not performing up to the mark, Patole said, “They are doing well. Only thing is that they don’t have the media smartness.”

He reiterated that his aim as party chief would be to make Congress the number one party in the state. “I will take up the organisational issues soon. The attempt would be to prop up young faces. You will see a lot of new young faces in the party in coming years,” he said.

Asked if that meant the old guards would be marginalised, Patole said, “No… they will also be there.”

Asked if his attempt would be to enhance the party’s prospects to form the next government on its own, Patole said, “I have said my aim is to make the party number one. Every party has a right to grow.”

On his remarks that Modi was natsamrat (master actor), Patole said, “I have been witness to his displays of emotions ever since he entered Parliament for the first time in 2014. Since then, there have been several incidents. That nautanki (drama) happened again in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday when Ghulam Nabi Azad was being given a farewell.

Asked about reports of discord among the three MVA partners, Patole said, “There is no discord, there is no one-upmanship and all three parties are working as per the common minimum programme. We are all there because of each other.”

Patole reiterated his insistence on having the option of using ballot paper in elections. “Those who want to use ballot should be allowed to use it. Others can use EVM. I think there should be a legislation for this and all Congress-ruled states should bring a law for ballot paper option,” he said.

Patole also attacked PM Modi and Shah over “atrocities” against agitating farmers in Delhi. “They are fixing nails on roads, using barbed wire and barricades to block the roads,” he said, adding, “my endeavour would be to mobilise farmers in the state in a big way in support of the agitation against the three unjust laws.”

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