New Delhi: Amid growing concerns over the NCP joining hands with Shiv Sena and BJP in some zilla parishad elections in Maharashtra, Congress on Sunday dismissed Union Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar`s charge that the party state unit did not follow coalition dharma in the polls.
"Maharashtra itself is the best example of successful Congress-led coalition politics. It is the only state with a successful coalition arrangement surmounting triple anti-incumbency at both central and state levels.
This is the best negation of any allegation regarding deficiency by us,"
party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.
Singhvi was reacting to Pawar`s criticism of Maharashtra unit of Congress. The NCP chief had accused the Congress state unit of not following coalition dharma in the zilla parishad president elections.
The NCP chief had stirred a hornet`s nest by taking
exception to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s comments about
allies making decision-making difficult, calling it
unnecessary and sweeping in nature.
Addressing a meeting of newly elected NCP corporators
during his Pune visit, Pawar had said, "The NCP is being
accused of not following the coalition dharma during the
elections for Zilla Parishad presidents.
"However, it was the Congress which began defying the
coalition dharma. Under such circumstances, the question
arises whether only the NCP is to observe discipline".
Pawar had also warned, "We want to remain in alliance
with Congress. However, if the Congress continues its
opposition to the NCP, we would not tolerate it."
Singhvi`s remarks assume significant as it came close on
the heels of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan
yesterday meeting Congress President Sonia Gandhi on the
The Chief Minister also had a meeting with Rahul Gandhi
and a number of Central leaders.
The anxiety within Congress over the development was
visible when Maharashtra Youth Congress President Vishwajeet
Kadam expressed strong displeasure over the move of Pawar`s
party in the local polls.
"NCP should discard its symbol of `clock` and adopt
`dagger` as a symbol for backstabbing Congress," Kadam had
The comments came in the wake of NCP ousting Congress
from the Yavatmal Zilla Parishad, which the latter had
controlled since its inception.
Yavatmal is the home district of Maharashtra Congress
chief Manikrao Thakre.
In a master stroke which could be a game changer in the
state`s politics, the NCP had left its traditional ally
Congress in the lurch to gain power in several zilla
NCP won president`s and vice-president`s posts in 13 and
14 zilla parishads, while the Congress had to remain content
with 7 and four respectively. The NCP move is being seen as a
well-planned strategy executed by its no-holds-barred leader
and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.