The NCP appears determined to grab the post of opposition leader in both state legislative assembly and council to undermine the Congress’ political identity as the main opposition party in Maharashtra.
On Monday, NCP has re-asserted its claim for LOP post both in state legislative assembly and council. While, NCP is all set to get LoP in council, decision in assembly is being legally scrutinized.
On Monday, party took the decision to appoint young turk Dhananjay Munde as the leader of opposition in state legislative council. The NCP gave a letter recommending Dhananjay Munde’s name as opposition leader in state legislative council to chairman of the state council Shivajirao Deshmukh. The formal decision will be taken soon.
Speaking to Indian Express, NCP leader Ajit Pawar said, “ Dhananjay is young and dynamic. We have taken the decision to appoint him as the leader of the opposition in state legislative council.” Pawar indicated, “ Our decision was guided by party’s concerns and not aimed
at undermining anybody or countering our rivals.”
The senior leader Sunil Tatkare was one option but he already holds the post of state BJP president. So, we took the decision to have
Dhananjay Munde to head the state council. Dhananjay is member of state legislative council representing the NCP.
In 2009, Dhananjay revolted against his uncle Gopinath Munde and quit the parent party BJP. He joined the NCP against the wishes of Gopinath Munde. What irked Dhananjay was Gopinath Munde’s decision to field his eldest daughter Pankaja Munde from Parli (Beed).
Dhananjay felt let down by his uncle who sidelined him when it came to giving assembly ticket.
After Gopinath Munde’s demise, his second daughter Pritam Khade (MP) got elected from Beed Lok Sabha seat which he represented.
His eldest daughter Pankaja Munde (MLA) from Parli assembly segment in district Beed is minister in BJP-Sena government.
The NCP appears to be making a well calculated moves to reassert its political identity as the opposition party in Maharashtra. In council,
NCP which has more MLCs compared to the Congress faces no challenge.
Not surprisingly, Congress leaders did not even stake its claim in state council.
According to Congress leader in state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, “ In council we know NCP is ahead. So, they have every right
to appoint council leader. It is their discretion whom they chose to lead the state council.”
However, Vikhe-Patil lamented that NCP was not showing grace to consider their legitimate claim for the role of opposition leader in state assembly.
He said, “ The Congress with 42 MLAs is ahead of NCP 41 in state assembly. So, why is NCP still creating hurdles in our
However, Pawar said, “ Along with NCP (41) MLAs we have the support of independents and smaller groups which take our total tally beyond 46 MLAs. We are just putting the facts on record and claiming what is our right.”
The Congress’ decision to stage a demonstration against drought situation in Maharashtra turned out a flop show. MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre and senior assembly group leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil lead the morcha on drought. But only a handful of MLAs out of total 41 turned up for the demonstration.
The NCP refused to join the agitation. A senior NCP leader told Indian Express, “ We had warned Congress not to take to streets immediately. The government has just come. We should give them atleast three months.” However, NCP has agreed to coordinate with Congress for raising public issues on the floor of the assembly and council in the ongoing winter session.