Maharashtra Congress warns MVA allies over comments on its leadership
The Maharashtra Congress on Saturday warned its partners in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) against making comments on its leadership if they wanted a “stable” government in the state. a rap amid the three parties in the ruling coalition — Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress —celebrating one year in office.
The warning by Yashomati Thakur, working president of the state Congress unit and a minister, came days after NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s interview by regional media house Lokmat, in which, when asked if the country was ready to accept Rahul Gandhi as a leader, Pawar said Gandhi’s leadership has a “few problems” and lacks consistency.
In a series of tweets in English and Marathi, Thakur said, “Some interviews/articles of MVA leaders have come to my notice. Being a working president of MPCC [Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee], I must appeal to colleagues in MVA that if you want a stable govt in Maharashtra, then stop commenting on the leadership of Congress. Everybody should follow basic rules of coalition. Our leadership is very strong and stable. Formation of MVA is the result of our strong belief in democratic values,” she said.
Congress leaders opined that Pawar’s comment was uncalled for, considering the fact that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi decided to support a Sena-led government after discussing the matter with him.
“Our leadership not only consulted state Congress leaders and legislators, but also Pawarsaheb. If they give him respect, he should avoid unnecessary comments on leadership,” said a senior Congress minister.
NCP and Sena leaders, however, sought to play down Pawar’s remarks, saying that it had no connection with the stability of the three-party state government. NCP spokesperson Umesh Patil said, “Pawarsaheb’s statement must be taken positively, looking at his age and experience. [Yashomati] Thakur’s comment on the stability of the government is unnecessary. There is good coordination within the MVA. Just recently, we saw celebrations on the first anniversary. The alliance registered wins in the council elections.”
Sena leader and one of the architects of the MVA alliance, Sanjay Raut, said the statement must be viewed as “directions”. Speaking to a regional news channel, Raut said, “Whatever Sharad Pawar might have said about Rahul Gandhi, it has nothing to do with the stability of Maha Vikas Aghadi. I have always stood behind Rahul Gandhi, when his leadership was being damaged. Sharad Pawar is a tall leader in politics. The opposition parties in the country consider Pawarsaheb their leader. When an experienced leader like him says something, it must be viewed as directions. However, I am not saying that they should take steps according to what Pawarsaheb says.”