Maharashtra turmoil: Cong deputes Kamal Nath as observer to handle crisis in state
Congress on Tuesday deputed senior leader Kamal Nath as the AICC observer to handle the political crisis in Maharashtra.
The Congress decision to rush Nath to Maharashtra is aimed at defusing the crisis currently faced by the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance. Eknath Shinde, one of the top ministers, went incommunicado and was later reported to be in Gujarat's Surat with more than 20 lawmakers.
"The Congress president has deputed Kamal Nath as All India Congress Committee (AICC) observer in the wake of recent political developments in the state, with immediate effect," said an official communication from the Congress.
The Congress shares power with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena in the MVA government in Maharashtra.
Senior Shiv Sena leader and minister Shinde has gone incommunicado, a party leader said, a day after the MVA suffered a setback in the state Legislative Council polls by losing one out of the six seats it contested.
The development could rattle the MVA as some Sena MLAs are believed to be in touch with Shinde.
However, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut asserted that the "Sena is a party of loyalists and attempts by the BJP, like in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, to topple the MVA government would not succeed".
He also said Shinde was a "trusted Shiv Sainik", and that the "missing" MLAs will be back after the party is able to reach out to them.
Earlier in the day, a Sena leader said Shinde, who wields influence in some of the satellite cities of Mumbai, may be in Gujarat along with some MLAs. The leader did not divulge the number of MLAs who could be with Shinde and their details.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar said he was confident that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray would be able to handle the situation and the MVA government would last its full five-year term.
(With PTI inputs)