12 Jul 2021: Congress' Nana Patole withdraws claim that Thackeray tracks his moves
Hours after claiming that leaders of Maharashtra's ruling alliance were keeping a watch on his moves, state Congress chief Nana Patole backtracked on his remarks. Patole said that his claims were against the Centre, not the state government. Patole's Congress party is also part of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra along with Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Statement: 'Thackeray, Pawar are shaken seeing Congress' revival'
Patole told party workers that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (from the Shiv Sena) and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar (from the NCP) are keeping a "watch" on his moves as the Congress party is gaining strength in the state. He said, "Every morning...an intelligence report is submitted to the CM...The Congress is resurrecting itself...the report is making the ground beneath their feet slip away."
Fact: 'The allegations were against Centre'
Patole, however, backtracked on his comments a few hours later, saying that his allegations were against the central government, not Thackeray and Pawar. "My allegations were against the Centre," he said, adding that he will issue a clarification soon.
Patole: Patole has been in news for his comments on MVA
Patole—who crossed over to the Congress in 2018 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—has been in news for his comments on the MVA government. Last month, Patole made headlines when he said the alliance was temporary and it was only formed to stop the BJP for five years. He also said that his party will fight upcoming elections alone as it is regaining strength.
Fact: 'People will thrash with footwear if one goes solo'
At the time, CM Thackeray had reacted to Patole's comments saying that anyone who talks about contesting in elections alone and fails to provide a solution to people's problems will be beaten up with "chappals" (slippers).
Background: MVA is struggling to keep house in order
The MVA is an unusual alliance of right (Shiv Sena) and center-left parties (Congress and NCP) formed after the 2019 Maharashtra polls to keep the BJP from taking power in the state. The parties had come together through the efforts of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. However, differences within the alliance have been quite evident since, with each party heading with its own political ambitions.
Speculations: Thackeray meets PM Modi, Pawar meets Kishore
Separately, the MVA's longevity was questioned when Thackeray held a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. The meeting set off speculations about a possible reunion of the two old allies—Shiv Sena and the BJP. On the other hand, consecutive meetings between Sharad Pawar and Prashant Kishore also sparked buzz of a possible new political equation both at the Centre and state.
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