Sticking to his demand to re-consider pre-poll alliance with NCP in Maharashtra, senior Congress leader Vilasrao Deshmukh on Saturday wanted the state unit to convene an executive meeting to discuss the matter.
Deshmukh asked state unit chief Manikrao Thakre to "immediately" hold the meeting to discuss pre-poll alliance with NCP and prepare a report on views and opinions of party MPs, MLAs, district unit chiefs and office bearers to be sent to the leadership at Delhi.
The Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, who was speaking at a felicitation function of newly sworn-in union ministers and MPs, said he would continue to speak on this issue till "confusion in minds of the workers is sorted out".
Deshmukh referred to Friday's election for the president post 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 that the 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 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."
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.