Post split, Congress to target NCP over corruption and truck with BJP

Following the break-up of its alliance with NCP in poll-bound Maharashtra, Congress is likely to target the Sharad Pawar-led party over corruption and non-performance of the coalition government, and accuse it of "hobnobbing" with BJP.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 28, 2014, 01:12 AM IST

New Delhi: Following the break-up of its alliance with NCP in poll-bound Maharashtra, Congress is likely to target the Sharad Pawar-led party over corruption and non-performance of the coalition government, and accuse it of "hobnobbing" with BJP.

The central leadership of the Congress also feels that outgoing Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is the best bet for the party in the given scenario when corruption has become a poll issue.

With the party no longer having to carry the "baggage" of NCP, Congress would target the Sharad Pawar-led party over non-performance of the coalition government in the state and highlight the "clean" image of Chavan.

A senior Congress leader, who declined to be identified, said in the issue of corruption the party would put the blame on NCP whose several ministers had been accused of graft.

The leader said that the parting of ways with NCP has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Congress as the change in political landscape was replete with new opportunities.

"We did not stand a chance if the status quo had continued. NCP's parting of ways as well as collapse of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance has made the Assembly polls altogether a new exercise minus the shadow of Lok Sabha elections," the Congress leader said.

The view in Congress is that with BJP and Shiv Sena fighting separately there will be a division of the Hindutva votes. With Pawar's party being seen hobnobbing with BJP could also further divide the vote leading to consolidation of secular votes behind Congress.

Asked whether Congress could tie-up with NCP after the polls, Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza had yesterday, said, "You know what was happening for the last few months, how NCP had been hobnobbing with BJP."

To further queries, she had said, "Congress will not have any truck with any party which will have anything to do with BJP."