Differences have cropped up in Maharashtra’s ruling alliance over the division of 12 seats in the Vidhan Parishad – the upper house in the state assembly. The Congress leaders, who have objected to the proportional distribution agreed upon earlier and demanded an equal distribution, will meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday, top Congress sources told NDTV.
Under the existing system, the Shiv Sena has five seats, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party has four and the Congress has three seats. Congress wants an equal distribution in which all parties will end up with four seats each.
Congress’s Ashok Chavan said the matter will be sorted out at tomorrow’s meeting.
Last month, there was speculation of rift within the alliance after Sharad Pawar’s meeting with the Governor and the Chief Minister and a comment by Rahul Gandhi.
“We are supporting the government in Maharashtra, but we are not the key decision-maker in Maharashtra. We are decision-makers in Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Puducherry. There is a difference between running the government and supporting it,” Mr Gandhi had said, which was seen as distancing his party from Uddhav Thackeray and any decision-making in Maharashtra, the state hit worst by coronavirus in India.
Mr Pawar, however, allayed concerns, saying it was former Chief Minister, the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, who was trying to bring down the government.
The state’s opposition BJP alleged that the ruling alliance was just concerned about power when the people were struggling under the coronavirus outbreak.
“Maharashtra is in a tough spot place right now. The number of Corona positive patients in the state is more than China. People are dying in hospitals because of mismanagement and inadequate arrangements. At the same time, ministers of the Maharashtra coalition government are concerned about power… If they were united in their intent to fight coronavirus then maybe Maharashtra would have been able to fight it like other states,” said senior BJP leader Ramdas Kadam.