Congress committed to strengthening Maharashtra alliance, government: AICC in-charge

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HK Patil, All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Maharashtra, has disowned state party chief Nana Patole’s claim that Congress would fight solo in the 2024 Lok Sabha and state polls by disengaging from allies NCP and Sena.

“That is not the view of the Congress leadership,” Patil told ET on Thursday. “The Congress is not only part of the Maharashtra alliance, but our party is also fully committed to strengthening the alliance and the state government. Our alliance and the government will successfully complete the full tenure and will emerge stronger.”

Patil disagreed with the recently appointed Maharashtra PCC chief’s comment that the “remote” of the Maharashtra government is with NCP leader Sharad Pawar. “No, no, both chief minister Thackerayji and Pawarji have been constructively working and coordinating to strengthen the alliance,” Patil said. “Whenever our (Congress) ministers had some issues with regard to their department-related works, the CM responded positively and cordially. Our ministers too are working to strengthen government’s performance.”

Asked why then Patole has been making such comments that even AICC can’t endorse, Patil claimed the PCC chief’s comments were misinterpreted. “The problem is Patole’s statements are often misunderstood, miscommunicated or misinterpreted. I made a clarification about it only the other day in Mumbai,” he told ET.

Patole, a former BJP MP who joined Congress in 2017, is facing flak from many others in the party. Some Congress leaders here said many state ministers and MLAs have already conveyed their uneasiness to AICC about Patole’s overdrive with sound bites.

His increasing show of belligerence, they claimed, coincided with delay in fulfilling his wish to become a minister, as most Congress ministers are resisting the push to vacate their ministerial slots for Patole in the name of accepting the Speaker’s post that Patole had vacated.

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