NEW DELHI: Hitting back at former ally and NCP chief Sharad Pawar for his statement that the Congress had approached the NCP to jointly support the Shiv Sena to form the government in Maharashtra, the Congress on Tuesday said that the question never arose and “is beyond the pale of its political thinking”.
Smarting from Pawar’s remark senior Congress leader Ajay Maken said, “It is preposterous.” “There are parties “who have never remained out of power and they may still like to be in power, but the Congress in the past also has bounced back after playing the role of a vigilant Opposition. Even now we intend to play this role,” Maken added.
On Monday, the Maratha strongman had said, “The Congress had made the offer to the NCP for supporting the Sena. I also don’t think a Congress-NCP-Sena formation could have been stable.”
Maken also said, “It is for the BJP to now decide whether it will join hands with the ‘Hafta Wasuli Party’ or the ‘Naturally Corrupt Party’. They also need to explain as to what has happened in two days time that has changed their hearts.”
Also, the Congress leaders seemed to be more accommodating towards former Maharshtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan than of his Haryana counterpart, Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
A top Congress leader even went to the extent of saying, “Prithviraj is our way forward. It’s thanks to his ‘clean image’ that he managed to win the South Karad seat and save the Congress from total decimation in Maharashtra, despite the strong anti-incumbency wave.”
Hooda’s bastion of Rohtak was breached by the BJP is what is being called its ‘GT Road politics’. The BJP’s Haryana win, Congress leaders are privately admitting, has been far more spectacular than its Maharashtra results. According to the Congress leaders, the party by unduly backing a Jat CM who could not save his own community votes from being splintered, also neglected its traditional Dalit votes as also the non-Jat votes.
It’s remarkable how the BJP picked on the 35 per cent Punjabi and other migrated voters settled along the GT Road to sweep the elections in Haryana with a whopping 47 seats from a mere four in 2009.
Now, it is giving the Chief Minister’s post to a Punjabi settler-- Mohan Lal Khattar-- making it even more difficult for the Congress to come up with a survival strategy.