Maintaining decorum in rivalry
They may be rivals, but the Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis have refrained from personal attacks. The Samruddhi Marg project, a pet project of Fadnavis, is a case in point. Fadnavis too has not made any personal remark on the triumvirate of CM Uddhav Thackeray, NCP boss Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat. When Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami was arrested, Fadnavis ‘spared’ the state leaders in Maharashtra and instead took a jibe at Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.
Search for Congress president
Is the Congress ready to see beyond the Gandhis? If the speculation in political circles is to be believed, the Grand Old Party is seriously contemplating to appoint a non-Gandhi as the party president. Two prominent names came up for the post — Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, and Maharashtra Congress president and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat. Perhaps, their loyalty to the Gandhi family had made them a safe bet. But both are said to have expressed their inability to lead the party. Gehlot reportedly told that he has to be in Rajasthan for retaining power as well as keeping the Congress relevant in the state. Thorat also conveyed the same message in Maharashtra where he Congress party has the least number of seats among the MVA allies.
A case of ghosts from the past?
Known for being articulate on his political stand, NCP leader Jitendra Awhad had in the past gone raised his voice even when others in his party kept quiet. But the housing minister’s silence was conspicuous during the row over Arnab Goswami’s arrest. Political watchers said that the BJP contended that if Arnab can be arrested on the basis of a suicide note, then it could dig up the case involving builder Suraj Parmar. Awhad’s aide Najib Mulla had been arrested on threatening and extortion charges. Many believed that it could be one of the reasons behind Awhad’s deliberate reason of keeping his lips sealed.
Congress ministers unhappy with raw deal
Call it a reflection of the Assembly strength, the Congress leaders are seemingly getting a raw deal from their MVA ally - the NCP. The Congress ministers are complaining that they are meted step-motherly treatment by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar. Energy minister and Congress MLA Nitin Raut had earlier proposed giving consumers free electricity up to 200 unit, but it was turned down by Pawar saying the state has no budget for it. Then, tribal affair minister KC Padvi also made a similar complaint. Even PCC chief and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat had rued earlier that the Congress MLAs are given less development fund by Pawar, and sought intervention of CM.
Our correspondent in Maharashtra firstname.lastname@example.org