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Prithviraj Chavan disagrees with Pawar’s claim that Congress displayed stubbornness during MVA formation talks

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Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday expressed disagreement with NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s claim that the Congress leadership was stubborn during the talks for the formation of the MVA in 2019.

Speaking to reporters at Belagavi where he is campaigning for the Karnataka Assembly polls, Chavan also said that Pawar’s resignation as NCP chief would not affect the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition.

Pawar wrote in his updated autobiography, released on Tuesday, that the Congress’s `arrogance’ was evident during the talks that led to the Congress and NCP joining hands with the Shiv Sena after the 2019 Assembly polls.

Asked for a reaction, Chavan said the Congress leadership held comprehensive and detailed discussions on the issue of joining hands with the Sena, which led to the delay.

Congress was a national party while the Sena and NCP were restricted to Maharashtra, Chavan said.

“Our leadership had to consult everyone including leaders from other states on the issue of aligning with Shiv Sena. Even our minority community leaders said the Congress needs to stop the BJP from coming to power in Maharashtra at any cost. (But) Deliberations and consultations took time. It is Pawar’s perception that Congress was stubborn,” he said.

Chavan admitted that there were heated arguments, as related by Pawar in his book, between Congress and NCP leaders a day before NCP’s Ajit Pawar rebelled and formed a short-lived government by joining hands with the BJP in November 2019.

But if this discord was the reason Ajit Pawar joined hands with the BJP, then could there be some truth to Devendra Fadnavis’s claim that their early morning swearing-in had Sharad Pawar’s blessings, Chavan asked.

Pawar’s announcement on Tuesday that he was stepping down as NCP chief will not impact the future of the MVA, he said.

The MVA will split only if one of the three partners broke away and joined hands with BJP, Chavan said.


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