MPCC chief Nana Patole says Congress not happy with three-ward system, may move court
Mumbai: After having locked horns with the Congress’ ally, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of ‘backstabbing’ it, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Nana Patole has now hit out at its other Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) ally in the government – the Shiv Sena – for its decision to create a three-ward system in the upcoming civic polls which would unduly favour the Sena rather than the Congress.
Speaking to newspersons in Nagpur on Thursday, the MPCC chief, stirring controversy yet again within the MVA coalition led by the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress, Patole remarked that the Sena ought to have consulted with Congress leaders before deciding on the three-ward system.
Patole signaled that the Congress could go to court on this account as it was affecting the party’s prospects in civic bodies in Pune and Mumbai.
“Local Congress leaders are unhappy with the reconstitution of the ward system…the Congress had preferred a two-ward system. If it is an alliance government, then all MVA parties must sit together and decide on the ward system. It is not proper that we are all together and yet friends are getting hurt,” remarked Patole.
He said that be it in Pune or the Mumbai civic bodies, the Congress would suffer with the current three-ward system arrangement. Without taking names, he targeted both the Sena and the NCP for designing the ward system as per their convenience.
According to sources, the Congress stands to lose heavily in 45-50 wards in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) if the poll is held as per the three-ward system. The Congress anyway lacks a significant presence in both the BMC and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) which are among the richest civic bodies in the country.
It may be recalled that last year, Patole had repeatedly expressed the willingness of his party to contest alone in future polls. His intentions had upset not only the NCP and the Sena but sections within his party in the State as well.
Ever since the MVA came to power in Maharashtra, the plum posts have been held by the NCP while the Chief Minister’s post is taken by the Sena. With both these parties attempting to expand swiftly across the State, the Congress, saddled with lackluster leadership at the Central and State levels, has been in search of some much-needed inspiration at the regional level. Patole’s aggression, which reflects the yawning trust deficit between the Congress and its MVA coalition allies, has invigorated the local Congress leadership.