No truck with Shiv Sena, Sonia tells Maharashtra Cong

Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi.(PTI photo)

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Friday made it clear to sparring leaders of the Maharashtra unit that the party would not have any truck with the Shiv Sena, which is locked in a battle of wits with the BJP over government formation.

As the state unit spoke in different voices on supporting the Shiv Sena in the government formation, Sonia told a group of leaders from Maharashtra that the Congress cannot join hands with a party that pursues a completely different ideology and had contested the elections along with the BJP.

Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat, former chief minister Ashok Chavan, and senior leader Vijay Waddetiwar and Manikrao Thakre met Sonia here on Friday to apprise her of the political developments in the state.

Sonia told the leaders that Shiv Sena was locked in a power struggle with the BJP and not on a matter of principle or ideology for the Congress to consider extending support to them.

Earlier, the four leaders met AICC general secretary K C Venugopal at the AICC headquarters here and discussed the political developments in Maharashtra threadbare.

A senior Congress leader pointed out that the party would find it difficult to explain to its supporters the logic for propping up a government helmed by Shiv Sena, given the party’s views on issues such as Ram temple in Ayodhya, Article 370 and Uniform Civil Code.

In 1992, Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray was the first leader to openly accept the role of Shiv Sainiks in the demolition of Babri Masjid at a time when BJP leaders were in denial mode about the role of saffron workers.

Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had said the Congress might consider forming an alliance with the Shiv Sena to form the government in Maharashtra to keep the BJP away from power.

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