Cong MLA under pressure, claims wife

Mumbai, June 09: Amid the countdown to June 13 when the 30-month-old Democratic Front (DF) government in Maharashtra is slated to face a vote of confidence, the political melodrama continued unabated in the state today with the wife of a rebel Congress MLA holding a press conference to claim that her husband was held captive at a private guest house and being pressurised by the opposition Shiv Sena-BJP.

Mumbai, June 09: Amid the countdown to June 13 when the 30-month-old Democratic Front (DF) government in Maharashtra is slated to face a vote of confidence, the political melodrama continued unabated in the state today with the wife of a rebel Congress MLA holding a press conference to claim that her husband was held captive at a private guest house and being pressurised by the opposition Shiv Sena-BJP.
Even as the Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was away in Bangalore to parley with the Congress and NCP legislators, Mrs Yogita Valvi, wife of the lone Congress ''rebel'' and legislator from Taloda (Nandurbar dist) Padmakar Valvi told reporters at the residence of the state forest minister Surupsingh Naik that her husband was ''under pressure'' from the Shiv Sena-BJP. The alliance had forcibly held him at the Matoshree Sports Club in north-west Mumbai, she alleged. Mr Naik is guardian minister for Nandurbar district in north Maharashtra.
''I want to meet my husband alone in the presence of the Governor Dr P C Alexander or the Mumbai Police Commissioner M N Singh,'' she said.

Mrs Valvi claimed that her husband called her up to say that he was ''under pressure'' at the Matoshree club and cautioned her not to inform the police. The club is founded by a Shiv Sena member.

Mrs Valvi's relative Suhas Naik, who was accompanying her, pointed out that glimpses of a smiling Mr Valvi seen in the opposition camp, which had appeared in the mass media, were contrary to the truth.

Five NCP legislators and one Congress MLA have defected to the opposition in the last few days close on the heels of withdrawal of support to the Deshmukh government by legislators of the PWP, Janata Dal(S) and other left allies which had reduced the ruling DF to a minority.

In an another development, NCP legislator from Koregaon Shalinitai Patil once again lashed out at the DF government today and said that it lacked the determination and capacity to raise funds to complete the pending developmental projects in the state.

''I have appealed to my constituents to advise me on what stand I should adopt on the vote of confidence on June 13,'' she told reporters here today.

Bureau Report

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