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After Uddhav's Veiled Attack, Congress Says MVA Alliance is for 5 Years, Not Permanent

File photo of Congress logo flag.

File photo of Congress logo flag.

In a veiled swipe at local Congress leaders, Thackeray on Saturday said people would "beat with footwear" those who only talk about contesting elections alone without offering solutions to people''s problems.

The three-party MVA alliance, comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, was formed in Maharashtra for five years and is not a permanent fixture, state Congress president Nana Patole has said. His remarks came after Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said people would “beat with footwear" those who only talk about contesting polls alone without offering solutions to people’s problems.

Talking to reporters here, Patole said there was no clarity in Thackeray’s speech about who he was referring to. Even the BJP has spoken of contesting elections independently, Patole said, noting that previously all the four parties - Congress, NCP, BJP and Shiv Sena - had contested local bodies and Assembly polls independently.

“We formed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-in 2019) for five years to stop the BJP. This is a not a permanent fixture. Every party has the right to strengthen its organisation and the Congress has always given priority to providing relief to COVID-19 affected people by making available blood, oxygen and plasma at various places," Patole said. The Sena and Congress, adversaries for decades, formed government in Maharashtra along with the NCP after the Uddhav Thackeray-led party fell out with the BJP in 2019.

In a veiled swipe at local Congress leaders, Thackeray on Saturday said people would “beat with footwear" those who only talk about contesting elections alone without offering solutions to people"s problems. All political parties should keep ambitions aside and focus on economy and health, the CM had said. Patole said Thackeray made the comments on the occasion of the Shiv Sena’s 55th foundation day as the party president and not as chief minister.

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Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday said his party has always fought all battles of self-respect and pride of Maharashtra and the party on its own strength. “The Shiv Sena’s path ahead is clear. Let others come out of their chaos as one leader of another party speaks of going alone, and another leader from the same party says it was not the party line," the Rajya Sabha member told reporters.

He was referring to All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge H K Patil’s comments made during a function on Saturday, wherein the latter asked the state Congress to focus on strengthening the party while the high command would take a decision on going solo in elections. Raut said the Shiv Sena, whether part of an alliance or not, has always fought on its own strength.

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first published:June 20, 2021, 17:53 IST