No discussion on opposition leader’s post at Maha Congress meeting; party decides to ‘wait and watch’

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The Congress will decide on the post of the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly at the right time, senior leader HK Patil said on Tuesday after attending the legislature party meeting here.

Patil, the AICC in charge of Maharashtra, also said the party will “wait and watch” amid political developments in the state in the wake of NCP leader Ajit Pawar joining the Shiv Sena-BJP government.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Balasaheb Thorat said the meeting discussed the political situation in the state, the strategy of the Congress, and the MVA.

Patil said Congress is keeping an eye on the current political situation in the state.

“Today our role is to wait and watch. The party which has the largest number of members claims the post of the Leader of the Opposition. The NCP is holding two separate meetings tomorrow, after which the next strategy will be decided by holding discussions with Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar,” he said.

It was earlier said that the Congress might discuss staking claim to the post of LoP after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar resigned from the post and joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government.

At the CLP meeting held at Vidhan Bhavan here, the Congress decided to work for strengthening the party as well as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) of which it is one of the constituents along with NCP and Shiv Sena (UBT).

The meeting was attended by Patil and 39 out of 45 MLAs including Balasaheb Thorat.

State Congress president Nana Patole alleged that the political upheaval in Maharashtra was scripted by PM Modi and Amit Shah.

Patil said an unconstitutional government is in power in Maharashtra and the issue of disqualification (of some MLAs) is still undecided.

“People did not like the ‘Operation Lotus’ done by the BJP. People of Karnataka have made BJP sit at home,” he said.

He said some MLAs have left Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar but both the leaders enjoy a huge public support.

“We are united as Maha Vikas Aghadi. We will fight against the BJP unitedly and efficiently, ” Patil added.

He alleged that BJP is trying to break the Opposition out of frustration as many parties are joining the bloc against the Modi government.

“Central probe agencies like ED, and CBI are being used for causing the splits but the Congress stands united and strong. The presence of 39 MLAs at the meeting indicates the strength and loyalty of MLAs. The MLAs who were not present in this meeting had informed us in advance,” Patil added.

Nana Patole said the BJP is bringing other issues into the public discussion to divert the attention of the people from the main issues.

“But the Congress will expose the true face of BJP. The political drama that is going on in Maharashtra is happening according to the script that Modi and Shah dictate from Delhi,” he alleged.

Patole claimed some people were pressured through the fear of the ED and CBI.

“All this is happening due to the fear of going to jail if they don’t listen to the BJP. The current politics in Maharashtra is unfortunate,” he added.

Notably, the NCP, led by Sharad Pawar, has appointed MLA Jitendra Awhad as the Leader of the opposition.

Sharad Pawar on Monday said the Congress, a constituent of the Maha Vikas Aghadi, was justified in claiming the post of LoP.

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