Mumbai Diary: Congress, Thackeray wary of Ajit Pawar
Following speculation that Ajit Pawar may join hands with the BJP, Uddhav Thackeray and the Congress have decided not to rely too much on NCP, their partner in the MVA.
Congress, Thackeray wary of Ajit Pawar
Following speculation that Ajit Pawar may join hands with the BJP, Uddhav Thackeray and the Congress have decided not to rely too much on NCP, their partner in the MVA. They are likely to make conscious efforts to expand their party base by addressing rallies , among others, ahead of the elections. Although NCP chief Sharad Pawar has assured them that his party will remain a part of the Opposition, the Congress and Thackeray are not too sure. Congress general secretary KC Venugopal’s meeting with Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshree is considered to be a part of this strategy. More such meetings are expected to take place.
State Congress unit to get new chief
Maharashtra Congress is likely to get a new president in the next few days once the shortlisted name is approved by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. Nana Patole, the incumbent Maharashtra Congress president, is likely to be replaced by either former Minster of State Satej Patil – the Maratha face from western Maharashtra – or Sunil Kedar, the Vidarbha OBC leader who recently wrestled the local bodies from BJP in Nagpur. A dark horse may also emerge at the eleventh hour.
Fadnavis to be fielded in Pune LS bypoll?
After the demise of BJP’s Pune MP Girish Bapat, the party is looking to identify his successor. Among the names which are being bandied about include Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohal. There is also a buzz in political circle that as a part of the elevation process, the party’s top leadership may field Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis in the for Pune Lok Sabha by-poll and induct him as a cabinet minister at the Centre, while promoting another Maratha leader. However, there is no clarification on when the final decision will be taken in this context. It is speculated that the final decision may be taken by the top leadership of the BJP.
Our correspondent in Maharashtra