3-party govt which is battling a powerful BJP has a new challenge at hand as Congress is furious after Zila Parishad polls.


New Delhi: At a time when Maharashtra’s political landscape is heated up due to the upcoming Municipal Corporation polls and BJP’s continuous rallies across the state, the ongoing tension between the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress over the issue of Zila Parishad elections had further widened the faultlines within the two constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) dispensation, with many believing that widespread anger among Congress leaders can create problems for the government which is battling on multiple fronts. Realising the magnitude of the crisis, senior leaders from both the parties are thinking of an immediate meeting of the coordination committee so that things can be sorted out before going out of hand.
Talking to The Sunday Guardian, Atul Londhe, the chief spokesperson of Maharashtra Congress, said, “Yes, we have concerns regarding some issues. The alliance partners of MVA government signed a document for the 105 Nagar Panchayats, three Jila Parishad and few Panchayat Samitis which went for polls that parties will support each other, instead of supporting the Congress which emerged as a bigger party in the Gondia Zilla Parishad elections; the NCP joined hands with the BJP meaning breaking the pact. It is not right for the alliance. Our state leaders have flagged the issue and it’s natural that we are concerned.”
The Gondia Jila Parishad is adjoining the district of Congress’s state president Nana Patole and many believed that NCP intentionally did it as the aggressive stand taken by Nana Patole since he became the Congress president leaving the post of Speaker of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, is not liked by top NCP leaders who think that Patole is creating hurdles in the MVA government.
The public outcry over the issue of Zila Parishad polls is considered to be just the trigger between the NCP and Congress as those who are closely following the developments believe that the major worry for the Congress is that the NCP whose leader Ajit Pawar is holding the finance portfolio in the Maharashtra government is giving huge funds to the MLAs of NCP in Western and Central Maharashtra, while denying it to Congress MLAs effectively hampering prospects of Congress leaders. “The issue of funds allocated to NCP and Shiv Sena MLAs, and giving less to the Congress MLAs is also a major concern for us. What NCP is trying systematically is to expand its own influence at our cost, but they will not be successful,” added Londhe.
The NCP was formed by Sharad Pawar in 1998 after he broke away from the Congress over the issue of Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin and since then, the party had grown well by winning more Assembly seats than the grand old party in three out of the last four Assembly elections in the state namely 2004,2014 and 2019 polls.
The NCP had played down the issue. Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Mahesh Bharat Tapase, the chief spokesperson of NCP, said, “Things will be sorted out soon. In the Bhandara Jila Parishad, Congress got support from a rebel faction of BJP to win the post of president. In local elections something like this happens, even Congress leader and senior minister in Maharashtra government Balasaheb Thorat said that everything will be normal. The state president may be unhappy because it is near his own Lok Sabha seat. But the MVA alliance had a clear common minimum programme and agenda which was agreed upon and implemented by all the parties.” On the issue of Congress blaming the NCP for trying to finish it, he said, “Every party had the right to grow; Congress should also try to grow in the region.”