MUMBAI: Any anti-BJP front is not possible without the Congress, Maharashtra state party president Nana Patole said on Monday even as he extended his "best" wishes for a likely "Shiv Sena-NCP alliance" for the 2024 elections.
"If an alliance between the Shiv Sena and the NCP is in the offing for the 2024 polls, we extend our best wishes. But an anti-BJP front cannot materialize without the Congress," he told reporters.
Patole was responding to a query on the likely tie-up between the Sena and the NCP if Congress decides to go solo in the 2024 elections.
All these three parties are constituents in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) which came to power in November 2019 with Sena president Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister.
Patole had recently caused a flutter saying the Congress will contest future elections on its own.
In a veiled jibe at the Congress, CM Thackeray on Saturday said that people would "beat with footwear" those who only talk about contesting elections alone without offering solutions to people's problems.
On Sunday, Patole clarified the Congress will stand strong with the CM with all its might until the government completes its full five-year term.
Earlier on Monday, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the coordination among the allies of the MVA was a model example of how a coalition government should function.
Meanwhile, reacting to Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik's letter to CM Thackeray suggesting "reconciliation" with the BJP to save some leaders of the Sena, including him, from "harassment by Central investigating agencies," Patole said the BJP has been using these agencies to target and destabilize governments headed by opposition parties since the last 18 months.
"But this strategy won't work in Maharashtra. We are standing firm with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. This government will not succumb to any pressure," he said.