NCP hits back at ally Congress’ ‘backstabbing’ charge; ‘Leaders should speak responsibly’

The infighting in MVA came to the fore again after NCP hit back at Congress over the criticism of its alliance with BJP in local body polls in Maharashtra. On Wednesday, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole accused NCP of backstabbing the party repeatedly in the last two and a half years citing the example of the recently concluded election for the president of the Bhandara and Gondia Zilla Parishad. However, state NCP chief and Maharashtra Minister Jayant Patil dubbed this a false charge and urged that senior leaders should speak in a responsible manner.

Nana Patole said, “Yesterday, NCP proved that it wants power, has no association with anyone and is against Congress by directly forging an alliance with BJP in Bhandara and Gondia. That’s why I had to tweet today that NCP is backstabbing Congress. We prefer an enemy who attacks from the front but Congress believes that friendship should be genuine. I will go and inform my high command of these things. We will tell the high command how NCP has tramped over Congress in Maharashtra in the last two and a half years in Maharashtra.” 

Retorting to this, Patil mentioned, “Firstly, his allegation is wrong. In the coming time, local body polls are scheduled at many places. It was expected that the local leadership would sit together and ensure that Maha Vikas Aghadi is united. If something has happened differently in Gondia as per Nana Patole’s statement, the party will take cognizance of it. But the other side should understand who the local leaders get along with or not and who harbour an extreme position.” 

“Responsible leaders should speak responsibly. He might have been more hurt as this incident happened in his home district Gondia. But I don’t think it is cogent to use language such as ‘backstabbing’,” the NCP leader added. 

गोंदिया जिल्ह्यातील राष्ट्रवादी काँग्रेस पक्षाच्या भूमिकेबाबत काँग्रेसचे प्रदेशाध्यक्ष नाना पटोले यांनी काही आरोप केले. हे आरोप चुकीचे असल्याचा दावा राष्ट्रवादी काँग्रेस पक्षाचे प्रदेशाध्यक्ष ना. @Jayant_R_Patil यांनी केलाय.#NCP pic.twitter.com/Xrjxgy0MN8

— NCP (@NCPspeaks) May 11, 2022

Political realignment in Gondia & Bhandara

Even as NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena are in an alliance, the Sharad Pawar-led party joined hands with BJP to elect the president of the Gondia Zilla Parishad in Maharashtra on Tuesday. BJP, Congress, NCP and Janati Ki Party have 26, 13, 6 and 4 members respectively in the 53-member Gondia ZP which also has two Independents. Boosted by the support of NCP, BJP’s Pankaj Rahangdale was elected as the ZP president by polling 40 votes against Congress’ Usha Mendhe who could garner only 13 votes. Meanwhile, NCP’s Yashwant Gunvir was elected as the vice-president.

On the other hand, Congress wrested the Bhandara ZP president’s post in a close contest even as BJP-NCP came together. While the Sonia Gandhi-led party is the single-largest party with 21 members, BJP and NCP have 12 and 13 members each. However, Congress’ Gangadhar Jibkhate won the poll by a margin of two votes after 5 rebel BJP members extended support to the party.

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