June 20, 2009 5:48:58 pm
Sticking to his demand to re-consider pre-poll alliance with NCP in Maharashtra,Union minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Vilasrao Deshmukh demanded that the state unit president convene the executive committee to discuss the matter.
Deshmukh asked the state unit chief Manikrao Thakre to call the executive meeting to discuss the issue of pre-poll alliance with the NCP immediately and prepare a report on the views and opinions of party MPs,MLAs,district unit chiefs and office bearers to be sent to the leadership.
The minister,who was speaking at a felicitation function of newly sworn-in union ministers and MPs,organised by Mumbai Congress,said that he would continue to speak on this issue till the confusion in minds of the workers is sorted out.
Deshmukh referred to yesterday’s election for the president of Panvel Municipal Council where Congress candidate was defeated by the NCP with the help of Shiv Sena,BJP and the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP).
The former Chief Minister said defeat of Congress candidate in Panvel was an indicator about which side the winds were blowing. “The party should look into this matter seriously”,he said.
He said the High Command will not thrust its stand on the state unit,adding “The leadership will ask the state unit for its views and we need to discuss this issue and seek views and opinions of all. The need of the hour is to clear the air on whether we are going for a pre-poll tie up or not.
“Our workers should know from which constituencies our party is going to field its candidates,” Deshmukh said. In a reference to Thakre’s assertion that the state Congress did not subscribe to his “go alone” theory,Deshmukh said,”Whatever I have been saying is not my personal opinion. I have been airing the sentiments of the workers and have conveyed it to the leadership. Unless the state unit’s executive meeting is called and a decision is not taken,I will continue to speak on the issue.”
He reminded Thakre that the forum on which he is reiterating his views was a party platform and not a public podium.
In a veiled attack on Thakre,Deshmukh said,”You were elected through a short cut by winning the Legislative Council elections unopposed. You don’t have to contest the Assembly elections nor do I. Take a decision on the issue of alliance and don’t let me talk about this repeatedly.”
Thakre in his speech accepted the demand saying that a meeting could be convened to hear the views of everybody and convey them to the AICC chief Sonia Gandhi.
“We are a democratic party,” he said,exhorting workers not to rest after the success in Lok Sabha elections. “Pursue all infrastructure related issues with the Centre and be prepared for the Assembly polls,” he said.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan,supporting Deshmukh’s stand,demanded for an urgent executive meeting. “We have to be cautious and discuss all the pros and cons before arriving on a decision. We should not let the power pass into the hands of Shiv Sena,BJP or MNS,” he said.
All major decisions related to party’s interests have to be discussed in the executive before the elections,the chief minister said.
He said that there should be no compromise on decisions where party’s interest in involved.
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