Chief Minister Ashok Chavan suggested that top leaders of Congress and its ally NCP should sit together and resolve their differences across the table rather than making it public. He was speaking on the current statements being passed by both the parties against each other ever since NCP’s Ratnakar Mahajan has spoken of a merger with the Congress. Congress and NCP are at it again. Bickering in public has started between both the alliance partners ever since Ratnakar Mahajan, senior NCP party member and close associate of NCP chief Sharad Pawar suggested that the NCP should merge with the Congress. After Ratnakar Mahajan’s remarks, Congress spokesperson Hussain Dalwai added fuel to the fire when he accused the NCP of triggering riots in Sangli to win the local Assembly seats last year. State Congress President Manikrao Thakre was quick to douse the fire. He disowned Dalwai’s comments. On the other hand NCP leader and Home Minister R R Patil dismissed Dalwai’s allegations. When the Sangli riots case appears to have ended, the two parties started bickering over distribution of the cabinet berths. NCP wants the Congress to part with two more Cabinet berths because there are five vacancies yet to be filled in the 43-member council of ministers. However, the Congress claims to have got the disputed five seats in an arrangement finalized last year between the allies. And so the verbal accusations and attacks between senior leaders of both the party continue. However, speaking during the launch of the Jan Sampark Abhiyaan, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan stated that in view of the pre-poll alliance between the Congress and NCP, they will work together and being the top chief of the state, he will ensure that both the sides function amicably. Giving an advice to leaders of both dies he added that when the alliance partners are working together, there are chances of some differences cropping up but such issues should be solved by sitting together across the table and should not be made public. While the Congress and NCP is bound to stop the verbal attacks and accusations to stay in power what cannot be denied is that Ratnakar Mahajan, for whatever reasons, has spoken what everybody knows is bound to happen in the long run with NCP. The way the NCP is clearly divided into two factions – one on Sharad Pawar’s daughter MP Supriya Sule side and the other on his nephew Ajit Pawar’s side, a dispute on who becomes the heir is bound to happen. And no one can deny that neither Supriya Sule nor Ajit Pawar have what Sharad Pawar has as a leader to drive the NCP party. Moreover despite separating from the Congress, the NCP failed to have a real separate identity. It has been growing in the shadow of the Congress ideology. In wake of this reality that will hit NCP in the future, a merger with the Congress seems to be NCP’s only future option. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
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