Ramesh Chennithala snubs Nana Patole over ‘big brother’ claims | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Ramesh Chennithala snubs Nana Patole over ‘big brother’ claims

Jun 08, 2024 08:42 AM IST

Chennithala attempted to quell the emerging strain of discontent between Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut and Congress president Nana Patole

MUMBAI: On his first visit to the city after the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls, the All India Congress Committee’s (AICC) state unit in-charge Ramesh Chennithala attempted to quell the emerging strain of discontent between Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut and Congress president Nana Patole. After Congress’s impressive performance in the state, Patole had remarked that the party had become the big brother in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance, to which Raut retorted that all partners are equal in an alliance.

Mumbai, India. June 07, 2024: Congress Party's 13 newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) was felicitated by the Maharashtra Congress in the presence of Ramesh Chennithala, the In-Charge of Maharashtra, Nana Patole, the President of Maharashtra Congress, and other leaders at the party office in Mumbai. June 07, 2024. (Photo by Raju Shinde/HT Photo)
Mumbai, India. June 07, 2024: Congress Party's 13 newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) was felicitated by the Maharashtra Congress in the presence of Ramesh Chennithala, the In-Charge of Maharashtra, Nana Patole, the President of Maharashtra Congress, and other leaders at the party office in Mumbai. June 07, 2024. (Photo by Raju Shinde/HT Photo)

Cutting short Patole’s claims Chennithala underscored that the coalition must pool its energies together for the upcoming assembly elections. “No one is a big brother in the coalition; we have to work unitedly to defeat the BJP,” said Chennithala. He also reminded the state Congress leaders that the contribution of MVA allies — Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP (SP) -- in the party’s victory cannot be ignored.

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“We are grateful to (Uddhav) Thackeray ji and (Sharad) Pawar ji as they reached everywhere we invited them for campaigning. They have also contributed to our success. We will go ahead together and form the MVA government in Maharashtra,” Chennithala said while addressing the meeting of newly elected Congress MPs at party headquarters in Mumbai.

He added that while it is not easy to work in a coalition, it is imperative in today’s scenario, and that one may even “have to take smaller parties along”.

The bickering between Patole and Raut started after rebel Congress candidate Vishal Patil won the Sangli seat as an independent. There was a tug-of-war over the constituency between Sena (UBT) and Congress. Sangli has been a traditional Congress bastion. The seat eventually went to Sena (UBT) that optimistically fielded wrestler Chandrahar Patil. However Vishal Patil stunned everyone winning Sangli with a margin of over a lakh votes.

Subsequent to that and the Congress garnering 13 seats of 17 allocated to it, Patole told a Marathi news channel: “We have been playing the role of a big brother since discussions over the seat sharing formula. Congress is a national party and our stand is to take everyone along whereas our allies used to be a group and will now get a status of a political party.”

Reacting to the remark Raut had said, “We are all equal. Shiv Sena (UBT) is an important partner and will continue to remain so. We fought the Lok Sabha elections against all odds as we did not have the party’s name and election symbol as it was given to the traitors (rival faction led by Eknath Shinde). Despite that, we won a better number of seats than our rivals.”

Apart from Congress leaders, the meeting with Chennithala was also attended by Vishal Patil, who had extended his support to the party on Thursday. His letter of support to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge was accepted, effectively taking Congress’s tally in the state to 14.

Calling for a united front for the elections in a few months, Chennithala said, “There is no need to fight among ourselves as the party gives respect to all. We will now start preparations for assembly polls by holding discussions with our allies in the MVA. We need to be confident but not overconfident.”

After the meeting, Chennithala along with some of the Congress MPs called on both allies, NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray at their Mumbai residences.

(With inputs from Saurabha Kulshreshtha)

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