Maharashtra: MVA together for Assembly polls, says Chennithala

Those spreading rumours about Shiv Sena (UBT) leaving the alliance are speculating to create confusion, says state Congress in-charge

Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray speaks to media in Mumbai (photo: PTI)
Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray speaks to media in Mumbai (photo: PTI)

Ashlin Mathew

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will continue as an alliance for the Maharashtra Assembly elections, and all those spreading rumours about Shiv Sena (UBT) leaving the coalition are simply speculating to create confusion, said Ramesh Chennithala, AICC (All Indi Congress Committee) state in-charge for Maharashtra.

“Why would the alliance break? We are going to contest the state Assembly elections together and emerge victorious in that too,” Chennithala said, adding that the people of the state had given their verdict, and it was against the politics of the BJP and that of the Eknath Shinde government. Their performance has been poor as they have not fulfilled their promises.

The Congress has become the single largest party in Maharashtra with 13 seats, and one more seat has been added after Vishal Patil, the newly elected MP from Sangli, has extended unconditional support to the party in a formal letter. The party had won just one seat in Maharashtra in 2019.

This turnaround was inevitable, said Chennithala, as all the partners in the alliance (NCP, SS (UBT) and Congress) were working together. “We fought as a unit,” he said. 

Speaking to National Herald just ahead of Vishal Patil extending support to the Congress, Chennithala said Patil had spoken to him immediately after his victory. “We will welcome him into the party, and we will not take any action against him,” said Chennithala, adding that it would not cause friction between the alliance partners.

The context here is Patil's decision to go it alone as an Independent after the Shiv Sena (UBT) unilaterally nominated wrestler Chandrahar Patil as the MVA candidate from Sangli — despite it being a Congress stronghold for over 50 years — refusing to reconsider its decision even after Patil met senior Congress leaders like party president Mallikarjun Kharge.

“Such things happen in politics. There is no need to rake up previous decisions,” said Chennithala, who was also chairman of the Congress’s Lok Sabha election campaign committee in Kerala. There, too, the UDF-led Congress won 18 seats.

The five-time MLA from Kerala's Haripad believes that it is only a matter of time before members of the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena will come back to the original Shiv Sena. “Shinde’s MPs and MLAs have seen the result of the election. Their performance has not been good. It’s only a matter of time before several want to return to Uddhav Thackeray. Give it some time. They have seen the people’s verdict. The MVA alliance will return to power in Maharashtra after the Assembly elections,” he said.

Asked about the Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP, Chennithala said they (the Pawars, including Ajit's uncle Sharadchandra Pawar) were all one family. “They ( NCP Ajit Pawar) got one seat. What does that amount to? It shows who the leader is. There’s also a possibility there. They are all part of one family and everyone wants a political future and not oblivion,” the former leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly said.

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