Maharashtra Deputy CM debunks State Congress leader Patole’s combative statements on ‘going it alone’

There was no danger to the ruling tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra regardless of whatever statements State Congress chief Nana Patole has made, said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday.

Mr. Pawar was responding to the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief’s refrain of his party “going it alone” in the polls (both civic and Assembly) in the future.

Mr. Patole, while addressing party workers at Lonavla last week, had reportedly hinted that his movements were being closely monitored by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, while rebuking Mr. Ajit Pawar, as Pune’s Guardian Minister, for ignoring the interests of Congress workers and party-bearers in the district. Mr. Patole had further said that the MVA was being remote-controlled by Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.

“There is no need to assign too much importance to what he (Mr. Patole) says. I have spoken with both Ashok Chavan and Balasaheb Thorat (senior Congressmen and Cabinet Ministers) …there is no danger to the MVA alliance irrespective of what Mr. Patole may say,” the Deputy CM said.

Mr. Patole’s combative remarks have caused consternation not only to his party’s coalition allies — the NCP and the Shiv Sena — but sections within the Maharashtra Congress as well. However, they have succeeded in galvanising the ordinary rank-and-file within the Congress, who have found his aggression a breath of fresh air after months of stagnant leadership at the top.

Following Mr. Patole’s statements, the senior NCP leadership has left no stone unturned in sidelining the MPCC chief, with Mr. Sharad Pawar remarking that he did not like responding to the comments of “lesser men” like Mr. Patole.

Speaking in Nagpur, senior NCP leader Praful Patel, too, took a swipe at Mr. Patole.

“We give importance to what the Maharashtra Congress in-charge H.K. Patil says… It doesn’t matter what the rest say,” Mr. Patel said, while observing that Mr. Sharad Pawar was undoubtedly the architect of the tripartite MVA.

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