The Congress has summoned a meeting of top leaders from Maharashtra on Tuesday to resolve the conundrum over continuance with the coalition experiment with the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party for future elections in the state.
Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole has been insisting on going it alone in the state, at a time when a large section of leaders appear satisfied with the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi forged by NCP supremo Sharad Pawar to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party away from power.
The unlikely power sharing agreement between the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress had fizzled out in June following large-scale dissidence in the Sena ranks.
Comprising over 40 MLAs and 12 Lok Sabha members, the breakaway faction of the Shiv Sena, led by Eknath Shinde, formed the government with support from “natural ally” Bharatiya Janata Party.
Senior leaders from Maharashtra, including former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan, Patole, and Congress Legislature Party leader Balasaheb Thorat, were scheduled to attend a meeting called by AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal and Maharashtra in-charge HK Patil.
The BJP has stepped up efforts to strengthen the organisation in the state with an eye on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections likely later this year.
The BMC has been under the control of Shiv Sena for over 25 years, mostly in alliance with the BJP.
The balance of power shifted in favour of the MVA after Shiv Sena walked out of the alliance with the BJP in the state.
The saffron party had gained the upper hand in Mumbai in the previous BMC elections by winning 82 seats, a close second to the 84 seats won by Shiv Sena.
After almost four decades, the BMC is being run by an administrator as the five-year term of the elected representatives ended in March this year.
The government had deferred the upcoming elections to the civic and local bodies till the OBC quotas were restored in the state.