Hours after levelling serious allegations that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar were keeping tabs on him, state Congress President Nana Patole suddenly backtracked, claiming he was “misinterpreted” by the media and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.
Addressing a party meeting in Lonavala, Patole had said that every morning, the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister get a report on his schedules, meetings, agitations, discussions, and other things, etc from the Home Department.
While the Sena-NCP rejected his allegations outright, BJP leaders said that Patole’s comments prove that the Congress is “isolated and insulted” in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Patole said that ever since the Congress started talking of self-reliance and fighting future polls independently, the ground has shifted form under the feet of the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party. “What’s wrong if I talk of building and strengthening the party?” he asked.
“The system is not allowing me to live peacefully. My phone is being tapped. Wherever I go, whatever I speak, a report is sent to the CM, Deputy CM and state Home Minister. Some people are unhappy that the Congress is growing in strength,” said Patole.
Even as his statements created a flutter in state political circles, especially the MVA allies Sena-NCP, the BJP hit out, saying there “is deep sense of mistrust among the 3 ruling allies”, Patole rescinded his utterances.
On Monday evening, Patole blamed sections of the media and the BJP for misinterpreting his words as he was referring to the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
“False news is being circulated by the Opposition about me. The MVA government is stable and will continue it full term,” Patole declared.
In the past couple of months, Patole’s calls to go alone in the upcoming civic bodies’ elections after six months and future Assembly and Parliament polls, have irked the Sena and the NCP.
Sena’s Kishore Tiwari, who has MoS status, flayed the Opposition for attempting to divide the MVA partners on this issue and reiterated that the Thackeray-regime has done “an excellent work” in 18 months, so the BJP will not succeed in dislodging it for the next 25 years.
NCP national Spokesperson and Minister Nawab Malik responded by pointing out that what Patole referred was routine government procedures of which he was perhaps unawares, and advised him to consult ex-CMs of his own party.
“The State Intelligence Department (SID) keeps details on movements of VVIPs, senior political leaders of all parties, union leaders and other prominent persons for security reasons. It anyone doesn’t want security they can inform in writing and the Home Department will look into it,” Malik asserted.
Hoping to exploit the situation, BJP Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis said Patole’s statement is an indicator of “the extent of distrust among the MVA partners”.
His counterpart in the Council, Pravin Darekar, said there is “some unrest among the Sena-NCP after Congress said it will contest futures polls independently”.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)
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