MUMBAI: Strains were evident in opposition ranks when NCP did not join the Congress in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly to protest against the government over demand to write off farm loans.
NCP did not join the Congress in the sit-in dharna on the stairs of the Vidhan Bhavan building and while staging a walkout from the House.
As soon as the House assembled for the day, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the Congress will not participate in the debate until Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis clarifies the government's stand on the issue of farm loan waiver.
"Fadnavis told us that media has wrongly quoted him saying that farm loan waiver was not possible. If that is so, he should place that on record on the floor of the House," Vikhe Patil and Chavan said in the Assembly.
"Since Fadnavis had ruled out writing off farm loans, what is the point in having a farce debate in the House," Chavan said, adding, the CM should clarify the same.
The Congress members came into the Well and shouted slogans in favour of their demand before staging a walkout.
However, NCP members did not join them. NCP members Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil and others sat through the proceedings.
The NCP is reportedly incensed over Congress joining hands with BJP for a post-poll alliance in the Gondia Zilla Parishad.
NCP had emerged as the single largest party in Gondia ZP followed by BJP and Congress. However, Congress bagged the ZP president's post and BJP got the vice president's post, leaving the NCP out of power.
In Bhandara, the Congress was the single largest party and got the ZP president's post while NCP got the vice president's post.
Congress sources said the state leadership does not approve of the local party unit's decision to go with the BJP in Gondia.
"Several rounds of meetings took place between the state leadership and local MLA Gopaldas Agarwal. However, the leadership failed to persuade the local unit from not tying up with the BJP," sources said.
Congress leader in Legislative Council Manikrao Thakre said organisational matters and legislative work were two different issues.
"Both parties have decided to work in unison over farmers' issues. Decision on Gondia matter would be taken by Monday," he said.