Maharashtra polls: Congress to go soft on Shiv Sena

  • Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 01, 2014 20:57 IST

In an attempt to cash in on the split in the NDA in Maharashtra, the Congress has decided to go “soft” on the Shiv Sena and instead target the BJP and the NCP mainly over their alleged “tacit understanding” since the Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress strategy is to let the BJP and the Shiv Sena, which had been in alliance for 25 years before their split last week, slug it out in the open.

A senior Maharashtra Congress leader told HT that the party has decided to take on the BJP in its campaign over its claim that the Sena gained in this summer’s Lok Sabha elections because of the “Modi wave”.

“What about all these years when the BJP benefitted because of Balasaheb Thackeray? Has the BJP completely forgotten him?” he asked.

Congress spokespersons and leaders have been asked to raise this issue more aggressively in the run up to the polls, sources said.

On the other hand, Congress leaders said they would go all guns blazing against the NCP over its “hidden game-plan” of severing their 15-year-old alliance and joining hands with the BJP after the assembly elections.

Congress leaders pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had avoided public meetings in NCP-held constituencies during his campaign for Lok Sabha elections.

For its part, the NCP is blaming former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan for the break-up in its 15-year-old alliance with the Congress.

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