Is the cobbled-up government in Maharashtra, call it MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi or Maharashtra Development Front) if you must, is showing fissures which puts doesn’t spell good for its future? Well, the verbal slangs exchanged between Shiv Sena and Congress does offer a pointer.
First Sanjay Raut, who holds court on everything for Shiv Sena, asked the Opposition of the country to unite under United Progressive Alliance (UPA) but under the leadership of Sharad Pawar. In one go, his message was that Gandhis were no good even though UPA essentially, all along, has been Congress-led.
Congress, sure enough, is living. Its working president in Mumbai, Charan Singh Sapra, speaking at a function to mark the party’s foundation day on Monday, red flagged the suggestion in quick time.
“If anyone speaks against our leader, the Congress party will not tolerate it. Today there is a Congress government in 5 states. In nearly 8 states we are the principal opposition party.
“Congress workers are present in every taluka and district of the country. If someone gives advice to the country’s main opposition party, we will not accept it. Who is giving the advice? A region party should not give advice to a national party.”
Sapra also made it clear that being in shared power wasn’t quite the priority for Congress in Maharashtra.
“For us, being in the government is not our priority. For us the party is our priority. Our party’s leader is the priority.”
Sure, Sanjay Raut has given enough reasons for Congress’ outburst. He had put the question the leadership of Congress, citing that a “weak opposition is bad for democracy.”
Earlier, senior Congress leader and state PWD minister Ashok Chavan had asked Shiv Sena to desist from commenting on his party’s leadership as the latter is not a part of the UPA.
It was fanciful on the part of Sanjay Raut, and Shiv Sena, to comment on Congress leadership which is so sensitive to its hold on its own people that despite rumblings and protest letters by senior party leaders, the Gandhis appear in no mood to pass on the party’s reins to someone else.
In the 2019 assembly elections, NDA had won a comfortable majority but the government couldn’t be formed as allies Shiv Sena and BJP fell out. The latter formed a short-lived government, joining hands with NCP’s Ajit Pawar, before the MVA was formed between Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.
It’s worth remembering that Sharad Pawar himself had not said complimentary things on Rahul Gandhi in recent past.
Also, Congress leaders such as Balasaheb Thorat, in the last few months, have shown concern over their party being ignored in the coalition government.