Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray meets allies amid rift speculations
After the controversial statement by Rahul Gandhi speculating rift between Maharashtra government coalition, CM Uddhav Thackeray will have a meeting with his alliance partners on Wednesday.
The speculations of strained ties between the Shiv Sena -Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – Congress’s six-month-old coalition in Maharashtra were raised with the meeting between CM Uddhav Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday.
The meeting is being attended by representatives of all the coalition members – Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of NCP, Congress’s Balasaheb Thorat who is the state revenue minister, Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde, and Subhash Desai.
The rift speculations were denied by NCP and Shiv Senapost during the meeting on Monday. However, the comment by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in which he appeared to distance himself from the decision-making in Maharashtra and stating that his party has only supporting role in the state has sparked new rumors.
The disagreements and supposed rift started when the senior leaders of the coalition government proposed different standpoints regarding the COVID-19 action plan and lockdown exit strategy for Maharashtra. While NCP chief Sharad Pawar wanted to open the state and Mumbai after two months of lockdown to revive the state’s economy, CM Thackeray was in favor of extending the lockdown.
Rahul Gandhi’s statement on Tuesday stirred up the controversies regarding the stability of the coalition government in Maharashtra. “We are supporting the government in Maharashtra, but we are not the key decision-maker in Maharashtra. We are decision-makers in Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Puducherry. There is a difference between running the government and supporting it,” Mr. Gandhi said, appearing to distance from the government in Maharashtra.
Sharad Pawar said that BJP is trying to bring down the government in the state and that ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis was getting impatient.
Last year, Shiv Sena ended a 30-year-old partnership with BJP over power-sharing and formed a coalition government with NCP and Congress, Uddhav Thackeray’s the Maharashtra Chief Minister.
While NCP and Shiv Sena leaders are reassuring of a strong coalition and no rift between the parties, the situation would be clear once the meeting between leaders ends.
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