News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » News » Discontent brews within Maharashtra's ruling alliance

Discontent brews within Maharashtra's ruling alliance

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: June 14, 2024 22:30 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Tensions are rising within the ruling Mahayuti coalition in Maharashtra amid internal conflicts and open threats over unresolved issues like cabinet expansion and Rajya Sabha nominations.

IMAGE: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at a rally in Pune. Photograph: @mieknathshinde/X

Discord within the Nationalist Congress Party has surfaced with reports of discontent over the nomination of Sunetra Pawar, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's wife, for a vacant Rajya Sabha seat.

The move has sparked dissent within the NCP, notably expressed by veteran leader Chhagan Bhujbal, who had aspirations for the Rajya Sabha seat.


Bhujbal, a prominent OBC leader, hinted at feelings of being sidelined in the party's decision-making process, raising questions about the fairness of ticket allocations for both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha elections.

"There could be reasons (for not giving him tickets). Sometimes, it's destiny or some sort of compulsion," he said and refused to answer whether dynasty politics played a role.

Asked if injustice was meted out to him over Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha tickets, an apparently sulking Bhujbal said the question should be asked to 'them'.

"It is my desire (to become an MP). That is why I was ready to contest from Nashik Lok Sabha seat. As I had been told that my ticket was finalised in Delhi, I had started working, but when the decision (to announce the name) dragged on for a month, I stopped as there was enough humiliation," Bhujbal said.

The Nashik ticket was eventually bagged by the Shiv Sena's Hemant Godse who lost to Rajabhau Waje of the rival Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray in the polls.

Ajit Pawar on Friday sought to downplay the apparent resentment in his party, stating that the decision to field his wife for Rajya Sabha bypoll was taken by the NCP's apex body, and denied reports that Bhujbal was upset.

Asked about media reports that Bhujbal, a cabinet minister, was sulking after Sunetra Pawar's nomination, the NCP president maintained that his party colleague himself told him that he was not upset.

Some people, including those from the opposition, and 'our close friends' are planting such reports but there was no truth to them, Ajit Pawar said.

Key NCP leaders, including Praful Patel and Bhujbal, were present when his wife submitted nomination papers, Ajit pointed out.

Amidst these internal frictions, Sunetra Pawar has filed nomination papers as the NCP candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha bypoll, following her recent defeat in the Lok Sabha elections from Baramati.

The by-election for one Rajya Sabha seat in Maharashtra is scheduled for June 25, as NCP leader Praful Patel resigned after being re-elected to the Upper House in February.

Sunetra Pawar, however, is set to be elected unopposed as she is the sole candidate in the fray.

In a separate development, Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat issued a stern warning regarding delayed cabinet expansion in Maharashtra, stating that there would be dire consequences if the issue was further prolonged.

The state government, led by Sena chief Eknath Shinde, has faced criticism for its sluggish approach to cabinet expansions, with only two expansions taking place since assuming office in June 2022.

Shirsat, a potential candidate for a cabinet position, called for clarity from the chief minister and deputy chief minister on the impending cabinet reshuffle, stressing the urgency of making a decisive announcement to avoid escalating tensions within the coalition.

"Everyone wants to become a minister, but no one says it. You cannot keep it stretching for long. Time has come to make a concrete decision. If the cabinet expansion is further delayed, the consequences will be bad," Shirsat said.

As uncertainties and discontent simmer within the alliance government, the political landscape in Maharashtra remains fraught with challenges and internal power struggles.

Meanwhile, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar has now been vocal about the urgent need to address the onion crisis, emphasising the importance of setting a support price for onions to safeguard the interests of farmers and consumers alike.

In Pune, his wife Sunetra Pawar said she would welcome the opportunity if she was offered a Minister of State post at the Centre.

"Of course, if given a chance, I will surely seize the opportunity," she said to a reporter's question.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.