Updated: July 19, 2021 8:29:58 am
A DAY after Shirur MP Amol Kolhe said Uddhav Thackeray had become chief minister “with the blessings of NCP chief Sharad Pawar”, NCP and Shiv Sena leaders, once again, got into a war of words. The Sena strongly objected to Kolhe’s statement on Sunday with former MP Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil saying, “The Shiv Sena decided who should be chief minister of Maharashtra and will continue to do so for the next 25 years.”
Kolhe made the statement on Saturday during the official inauguration function of Khed and Narayangaon bypass, which was unofficially inaugurated by Adhalrao-Patil on Friday, in part also contributing to the verbal duel.
When contacted, Kolhe said he had full respect for the chief minister and shared a good rapport with him. “I am being misunderstood… I had said I have full respect for Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. If anyone has doubts, they should verify it from my speeches in Lok Sabha. Unfortunately, in the name of the chief minister, the Sena is frequently criticising me and my party. I had said if they are doing this hiding behind the CM, then they should remember that Uddhav Thackeray is CM because of the blessings of our party chief (NCP chief Sharad Pawar). The statment was made in this context,” he added.
Kolhe also said, “I have consistently been taking up issues related to Maharashtra and those raised and pursued by the MVA government in parliament. The CM has also appreciated my speeches.”
Adhalrao-Patil, however, said Kolhe was now backtracking on his statement because Pawar had pulled him up. “As per my information, our leaders like Sanjay Raut had taken up the issue with the NCP chief, who has made it clear that he did not approve such statements regarding the chief minister. And that is why he (Kolhe) has now climbed down,” the Sena leader said.
On Friday, after an invitation card for the inauguration of the bypass went viral, Adhalrao-Patil quickly objected to it as it did not have pictures or the name of the chief minister. “I had taken the initiative for the construction of the bypass. It was only after my speech in Lok Sabha, Union minister Nitin Gadkari had announced the bypass plan. Tenders were floated during my tenure, letter of intent was given and even work order was given during my tenure. Yet, the Sena has not been given any credit,” said Adhalrao-Patil.
On his part, Kolhe agreed that Adhalrao-Patil initiated the bypass project. “It is true that he (Adhalrao-Patil) initiated the project but I chased it and got it completed. I was going to invite him for the function. But before I could, he inaugurated it on his own,” Kolhe said.
Kolhe also said the Sena was frequently criticising him and trying to put hurdles in development works planned by him. “I have kept quiet for the past two years. Since it was repeatedly happening, I needed to highlight it. The CM has given directions to the Sena to start Shiv Sampark Abhiyan to take government initiatives to people. However, the Sena is criticising me and my party instead of working together and strengthening the MVA,” he added.
Adhalrao-Patil said he had never criticised the sitting MP. “I have not criticised the sitting MP. Other leaders must have,” he added.
Asked why leaders from both parties were getting into arguments and verbal clashes, Adhalrao-Patil said, “I am not doing that. But yes, if my party is getting hurt, then I will act and react.”
Kolhe said, “Adhalrao is a senior leader and I expect him to guide me. I am always looking for guidance from him.” A senior Shiv Sena leader said, “Last month too, the Sena and NCP were at loggerheads over a panchayat samiti election. This indeed is poor publicity for the MVA government. Adhalrao and Kolhe are intelligent leaders, they should patch up and work in the interest of the MVA government.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.