Congress displeased over its role in Maharashtra government
The state’s Congress leaders are going to meet the Chief Minister and coalition partner soon to discuss a greater role in decision-making.
All is not well with Maharashtra’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the three-party government formed last November on the premise of equal power-sharing between the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Indian National Congress. The latter is feeling sidelined and is making its displeasure known publicly.
Several state Congress leaders met earlier this week to discuss some of the problems they have been having with the functioning of the coalition government and their place in it. The meeting included state unit chief Balasaheb Thorat, PWD minister Ashok Chavan, Varsha Gaikwad, Satej Patil, Nana Patole and Vijay Wadettiwar. Milind Narvekar, a close aid to the Chief Minister, was also present in order to convey the views of the party to CM Uddhav Thackeray.
A Congress contingent is expected to meet with the CM directly soon in order to put forth their grievances about being left out of key meetings and not being included in the decision-making process. The CM reportedly has been collaborating closely with NCP chief Sharad Pawar on a range of issues including COVID-19 and cyclone Nisarga, without any Congress representation in these meetings.
There are also issues related to legislative council nominations from the Governor’s quota, appointments for state-run boards and corporations and other problems faced by Congress ministers including unequal distribution of budgetary funds between the parties. There have also been disagreements on the bureaucratic front. While the CM has written to the Centre asking to extend the retirement date of the Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta, the Congress is reportedly not too keen on him. They allege that other bureaucrats have not been giving the party leaders their due in state-related works and they want certain officers removed.
These developments come just weeks ago Congress president Rahul Gandhi remarked that Congress was “not a major part of the government” in Maharashtra.