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NPR Drives Another Wedge Among Maharashtra Allies as Uddhav Thackeray Approves Exercise in Snub to NCP, Congress

Maharashtra CM & Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray (left) with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. (PTI)

While the Congress has earlier held that National Population Register is nothing but 'NRC in disguise', the NCP too said it had made its reservations with the exercise clear.

Mumbai: In yet another test for the ideologically divergent Maharashtra allies, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has decided to go ahead with the National Population Register (NPR) in the state in a snub to allies NCP and Congress.

Sources told News18 that chief minister Thackeray was keen to implement NPR in Maharashtra from May 1, even though the NCP and Congress remain opposed to the exercise.

While the Congress has earlier held that National Population Register is nothing but "NRC in disguise", the NCP too said it had made its reservations with the exercise clear.

Speaking to CNN-News18, Majeed Memon of the NCP said: “It is clear that the party is not supporting NPR. [Chief] Sharad Pawar has made it clear. The ultimate decision has to be accepted by all three parties.”

This is not the first time the allies have disagreed on core issues. On Friday, in his first criticism of Thackeray after their government in Maharashtra came to office in November, Pawar said the Shiv Sena chief was wrong in letting the NIA take over the probe into the Elgar Parishad case from the state police.

Pawar expressed his unhappiness on Thackeray's decision on a day when a Pune court passed an order to transfer the Elgar Parishad case to a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai. The court also said the order of investigation by the central agency cannot be said to be illegal or improper. NCP leader Anil Deshmukh, the state’s home minister, said the chief minister had overruled him on the case.

The three parties came together after the Sena’s bitter divorce with its long-time ally BJP over the chief minister’s position after the Maharashtra elections. However, critics question the longevity of the alliance, given the differing ideological stands of the parties.