Maharashtra's Opposition divided? Congress, NCP hold separate press conferences on session's eve

Mumbai: Rift in the opposition camp came to the fore on the eve of monsoon session of Maharashtra legislature on Sunday, with the NCP and Congress holding separate press conferences.

Traditionally, the opposition parties hold a joint press conference, but for the first time the two major opposition parties on Sunday addressed the media separately.

Representational Image. Reuters

Representational Image. Reuters

A letter by Congress leaders Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Sharad Ranpise to the Legislative Council chairman, demanding that a resolution discussing former prime minister Indira Gandhi's contribution to the country should be discussed on priority basis, seems to have riled the NCP.

The NCP wants discussion on a resolution congratulating its supremo, Sharad Pawar, on completing 50 years of parliamentary career. Both resolutions were to be tabled on a single day during the Budget session, which didn't happen because the opposition boycotted that session halfway through over famrers' issues.

The Pawar-led party said that the Congress leaders didn't consult them before sending the letter.

"The NCP wants to work together with other opposition parties. But if they (Congress) are going to take decisions without taking us in confidence, then perhaps they did not need our help and co-operation," said Sunil Tatkare, the state NCP president.

The Congress leaders said they didn't know what made NCP hold a separate press conference.

"One should ask NCP whether it trusts us or not. I do not know the reason for NCP holding a separate press conference.It is for them to answer why they did not attend opposition's meeting," said Vikhe-Patil, who is the leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly.

Both parties said they would try and corner the BJP-led government over farm loan waiver, administrative problems of Mumbai University and alleged scams in the Slum Rehabilitation Authority and Home Department, among other issues.

The opposition parties on Sunday also boycotted the customary tea-party given by the government on the eve of session.

Tatkare said his party still won't mind joining hands with Congress in the House. "We were never spoiler (of opposition unity) and we will never be spoiler," he said.

Updated Date: Jul 23, 2017 22:06 PM

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