Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MP’s Shrikant Shinde and Gajanan Kirtikar miffed with NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s grand-nephew MLA Rohit Pawar for not following coalition dharma
Mumbai: More trouble seems to be brewing within the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress with Sena Lok Sabha MPs Shrikant Shinde and Gajanan Kirtikar accusing NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s grand-nephew MLA Rohit Pawar of poaching Sena cadres through pressure tactics. This comes just days ahead of the biennial elections to Rajya Sabha and Elected by MLAs constituencies in the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC).
Veteran Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai North-West Lok Sabha constituency Gajanan Kirtikar and his colleague Shrikant Shinde from Kalyan Lok Sabha constituency have accused the NCP and Rohit Pawar in particular of not adhering to ‘coalition dharma’ while warning they would convey the grievances of local Sena workers to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The fresh note of discord within the ideologically opposed MVA allies was struck during the Shiv Sena’s ‘Shiv Sampark Abhiyan’ (the party’s mass contact voter outreach program) after local Sena leaders from Karjat-Jamkhed assembly constituency in Ahmednagar district represented by NCP MLA Rohit Pawar, complained that the NCP leader was thwarting their (Sena) development works by allegedly blocking the funds.
Kirtikar bitterly complained, “This is a three-party government. The rights that Rohit Pawar has, the same rights belong to the Shiv Sena’s district head in Ahmednagar…Our party workers have complained about his (Pawar’s) repression and the fact that their public works are getting stalled as Pawar is not releasing funds. This is very serious. If need be, we will convey these grievances to Sharad Pawar through the Chief Minister.”
The senior Sena MP disclosed that his party workers had complained to him that Rohit Pawar was putting ‘pressure’ upon them by allegedly compelling Sena workers in Karjat and Ahmednagar to join the NCP in order to get their work completed.
“If coalition dharma is not being followed, then in the next election, it will not be incumbent upon the Shiv Sena to follow it as well,” warned Kirtikar, urging Rohit Pawar to adhere to the common minimum programme decided upon all three parties at the time of the MVA’s formation.
Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MP Shrikant Shinde too disclosed that Sena workers had complained of the NCP’s allegedly overbearing attitude in places where the Sena was weak.
He further remarked, “If we have to take this ideal of the MVA forward in the next elections, then fellow parties (NCP) must bear in mind that they ought to behave fairly towards workers from their alliance partners.”
The young Pawar scion (Rohit Pawar) had staged a major upset in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly election when he trounced the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Ram Shinde. The latter, who was the then Guardian Minister of Ahmednagar as well as the State’s Water Conservation Minister, from Karjat-Jamkhed which had been a saffron bastion since 1995.
Complaints of NCP’s domineering attitude comes in the wake of recent statements made by Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Nana Patole, who too had submitted a litany of complaints to his party’s high command at the Congress’ Udaipur conclave regarding the NCP’s consistent ‘betrayal’ of the Congress and its alleged efforts to undermine the party in Maharashtra.
The MPCC chief had also sternly censured Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena for drawing up the three -ward system for the upcoming civic polls without allegedly consulting the Congress. Patole censured the ‘opportunism’ of the Sena by stating that the arrangement stood only to benefit the Shiv Sena and the NCP and not the Congress.