‘Just like prez polls’: Cong's Mallikarjun Kharge fires salvo at BJP as Maha crisis deepens
- Mallikarjun Kharge, who is the Rajya Saba Leader of opposition, said that all the members of the MVA in Maharashtra - Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, will “strengthen” the front.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the central government - which it heads - for “destabilising a stable” regime in Maharashtra, and held them “fully responsible” for the same. He also equated the current political turmoil in the western state to that of the forthcoming presidential elections.
"BJP and Centre [are] fully responsible for destabilising a stable govt in Maharashtra to form their own govt in the state. They're also doing this for presidential polls,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Saba further stated that all the constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra - Shiv Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) - will 'strengthen' the alliance.
Kharge said the grand old party will stand with the MVA regime and wants to work together. "The present Maharashtra government is doing developmental work in the state. [The] BJP [is] trying to destabilise the Maharashtra government. They did the same in the past too in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, [and] Goa,” he was quoted as saying.
Kharge's comments come shortly after Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said that his party is ready for a floor test and is standing by the Sena to stop the BJP from forming a government in the state. He, however, added that they do not have a problem if the Sena wants to form an alliance with anyone.
NCP leader Jayant Patil also on Thursday vowed to continue supporting Sena supremo and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. In a tweet written in Marathi, Patil said that the NCP will “stand firmly” with the CM “till the end”.
Patil and Kharge are among several NCP and Congress leaders who have backed Thackeray amid the standoff in the western state.
The fresh show of support by MVA constituent leaders came after Sena MP Sanjay Raut asked rebel party MLAs led by Eknath Shinde to “show courage” and come back to Mumbai in 24 hours, and assured the party is open to discussing the rebels' demand to exit the MVA front.
Rebel Maharashtra minister Shinde has so far gained the support of more than 40 MLAs, with several of them being independents. Visuals on social media earlier today showed him sitting with his camp at the five-star Radison Blu Hotel in Guwahati, Assam. The rebel leaders reached the northeastern state on Wednesday morning after spending the first few days of their rebellion in Surat, Gujarat. Notably, both states are ruled by the BJP.
Shinde has pressed his demand of Sena pulling out of the MVA, all the while claiming to remain loyal to the Hindutva ideology and party founder Balasaheb Thackeray.