Senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan on Sunday said the Shiv Sena was not part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the tie-up between the two parties is limited to Maharashtra, a day after Sena MP Sanjay Raut called for expansion of the Congress-led bloc. Speaking to reporters here, the state PWD Minister also said that it was not proper on part of the Sena to comment on the leadership of the UPA.
The Shiv Sena heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, of which the NCP and the Congress are constituents. "Shiv Sena is yet to become a part of the UPA. Our alliance with the Sena in Maharashtra is based on a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) and limited to Maharashtra," he said.
A day after Sanjay Raut said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar also enjoys support across parties like UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Chavan said it was not proper for the Uddhav Thackeray-led party to comment on the UPA leadership. "Sharad Pawar himself has denied the speculation that he will be the next chairperson of the UPA. UPA allies trust the leadership of Sonia Gandhi. So there is no need to discuss the issue," Chavan said.
On Saturday, Raut told reporters that the UPA needs to expand to take on the "dictatorial" Union government. "All opposition parties should come together against the dictatorial attitude of the Central government. A weak opposition is bad for democracy," the Rajya Sabha MP had said.