Post-poll Congress infighting adds to confusion

Post-poll Congress infighting adds to confusion

Just when all parties are engaged in backchannel talks to control the mayoral seat of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the country’s richest civic body, infighting has broken out within the Congress in Maharashtra.

Though the Congress extending support to the Shiv Sena is something unthinkable given the national political scenario, some top leaders appeared soft towards the Balasaheb Thackeray-founded Shiv Sena to keep BJP at bay at BMC.

The BMC, which has an annual budget of Rs 37,052 crore and fixed deposit of Rs 51,000 crore, is one of the largest civic bodies in terms of finances, geography and demographics.

A day after three former chief ministers – Ashok Chavan, Narayan Rane and Prithviraj Chavan made guarded statements to keep Shiv Sena in good humour,  AICC general secretary Gurudas Kamat, who is in-charge of Rajasthan and Gujarat, issued a press note sabotaging any possible attempts at helping out Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

"I take strong objection to any discussion even, of having any tie up or (extending) indirect support to the Shiv Sena in the BMC. We have fought against both saffron parties all along for their divisive policies and people will not spare us if we even attempt to align with them. Let them sort out their problems by themselves and in the process expose themselves and their lust for power," said Kamat.

He also said that he had conveyed his opinion to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. Following this, Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam, who does not gel well with Kamat, also appeared apprehensive and was extremely guarded in his response.

“People have given us the mandate to sit in the Opposition…we will sit and devise a strategy whether we can put up candidates for mayor and deputy mayor…as for support, there was one opinion on Shiv Sena, but there is no question of that,” Nirupam said.

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