Not an opportune time to talk about going solo: Maharashtra Congress
While Maharashtra and Mumbai Congress has been talking about going solo in the forthcoming local bodies and Assembly polls, the state in charge and All India Congress Committee (AICC), HK Patil, on Saturday took a cautious stand saying that the decision about the alliance will be taken by the party leadership. He said that this is not the opportune time to talk about going solo and the decision will be taken ahead of the elections.
Various leaders of the state Congress including Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole have been publicly saying that the party would go solo in future elections and would aim to form the government in the state on its own. This has irked its ruling alliance partners, Shiv Sena and NCP with both parties saying that they would forge an alliance in coming elections and Congress can chart its independent path if it wants. Patil’s remarks on Saturday come as a snub to the party’s state leaders.
“Party workers and leaders, out of their high morale and confidence, have been demanding permission to go solo in local bodies elections. The decision over it will be taken appropriate time. As far as the Assembly polls are concerned, this is not the opportune time as the elections are still three years away. It will be premature or too early to speak about it now. This government will complete its five-year term. We can discuss it and whether to go solo or have an alliance in 2023 or 2024 ahead of the elections. Currently, there is no such reference or proposal, and hence there is no need to discuss it,” he said.
Patil said that the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government was doing well and the issues raised by Congress before chief minister Udhav Thackeray are expected to be resolved in the next few days.
Party celebrated the 50th birthday of its leader Rahul Gandhi at their party headquarters in Dadar in Mumbai, on Saturday in the presence of Patil and senior leaders including former chief ministers Sushilkumar Shinde, Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole, Mumbai chief Ashok Jagtap and others.
Mumbai Congress chief Ashok Jagtap once demanded with the party high command to allow them to fight the forthcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation election alone. He said that the BJP, which was not even ready to take cognisance of Congress, have not set eyes on our movements. “I would request Soniaji and Rahulji to allow us to fight us alone, we will surely show the world Kisne Kitna Hai Dum,” he said.
On the occasion of the 50th birthday of former party president Rahul Gandhi, senior Maharashtra leaders from the party said that many turncoats had left the parties to join BJP are desperate to come back to the fold. The former chief minister and public works department minister Ashok Chavan said that Congress should expedite the process of inducting the leaders who want to come back. “There are many senior leaders who had joined the BJP willingly or unwillingly for various reasons want to join back Congress. Some of them had joined BJP thinking that the party will come back to the party in the state. They are now been repenting there and want to come back and re-join Congress,” he said.
Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the Gharvapsi has begun and the leaders who had left Congress to join the ruling party have now realised that they may have got the power, but the honour has been lost. He said that the Maharashtra Congress has resolved to become the single-largest party and come to the power under its chief minister.
Patole said that senior party leaders have been chalking out the plan for the induction of the leaders from other parties. He said that the party will emerge as the single largest party in 2024-Assembly polls.
Former minister Sunil Deshmukh and former MLA Dilip Bansode joined Congress on Saturday. Deshmukh, who had quit Congress in 2009 to join BJP after he was denied the candidature, said that he had joined BJP but was never happy there.
HK Patil held series of meetings with state and Mumbai leaders and discusses various issues including issues related to the reservation to Marathas and OBC, the election of the speaker of legislative Assembly, forthcoming elections to local bodies among others.