A day after the ruling combine - the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) - managed to win maximum zilla parishads (ZP) with the support of the opposition, the two parties blamed each other for creating a dent in the alliance.
In the elections for the post of presidents of 27 ZPs that went to polls in February, the NCP won 13 while the Congress won seven seats. Both the parties had to take help of the opposition to defeat each other at several places.
After decrying the NCP's power sharing formula in some zilla parishads, the Congress on Thursday proposed a compromise formula. State Congress president Manikrao Thakre said that his party was ready to snap similar ties, if any, with the Shiv Sena or the Bharatiya Janata Party, provided the NCP was willing to do so.
His statement came after state NCP president Madhukar Pichad pointed out that the Congress had started the entire drama and the NCP merely followed the suit. "It all began in Kolhapur where we requested the Congress for an alliance. But they wanted to go with Raju Shetty [of Swabhimani Shektari Sanghtana]," said Pichad. He added that in other districts such as Ahmednagar and Parbhani, too, where the Congress holds a near majority, its leaders refused to discuss a possible alliance with the NCP.
He said that four Congress ZP presidents could be elected only because of NCP's support. Though the NCP had not planned to outperform the Congress, it was forced to do so, he said.
Denying Pichad's allegations, Thakre said that senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar had asked the Congress to find its ally in Kolhapur.