Mumbai: Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre on Thursday came out in support of Shiv Sena`s demand that a garden should be developed at the existing Mahalaxmi Race Course in Central Mumbai.
NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and senior Congress minister Narayan Rane are in favour of continuance of Race Course.
"Congress is against the gambling which goes on at the Race Course," Thakre said, adding, the city needed open ground and gardens.
A debate is on at present as to whether the expired lease of the Royal Western India Turf Club, which runs the Race Course, should be renewed.
Thakre also criticised NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik`s comment that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan`s "honeymoon" with Shiv Sena was over as he refused to accept Sena`s demand on Race Course issue immediately.
"Sena and Congress were never in alliance of any kind. We have not deviated from our ideology. It is the NCP which should think about its actions in the Zilla Parishad polls in Vidarbha where they joined hands with Sena," he said.
Thakre also rubbished the speculation that he was against the candidature of Nandini Parvekar – who won Assembly by-election from Yavatmal on Wednesday – and wanted ticket for his own son but was overruled by the Chief Minister.
The Yavatmal result was a signal that voters supported Congress in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, he said.
To a question on Congress`s defeat in Gujarat by-elections, Thakre said, "Modi magic did not work in Maharashtra (though) Parvekar was pitted against a BJP candidate."