Mallikarjun Kharge

Dec 11, 2019, 03.34 AM IST

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MALLIKARJUN KHARGE

Karnataka bypolls: Congress leaders spring into action as JD(S) pact looms post polls

Several senior Congress leaders had taken a backseat in campaigning, giving an impression that the party’s victory or loss would be the sole responsibility of the former CM. But with speculations of the coming together of the former allies once again, hopes have sprouted among some leaders of giving a shot at the CM’s post in the event the BJP was reduced to a minority.

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  • Mallikarjun Kharge reiterated his party's stand of sitting in the opposition in Maharashtra, while Sharad Pawar said he would react only to an official statement from the Sonia Gandhi-led party.

    AICC general secretary in-charge for Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge made the announcement at a meeting of the party MLAs. "The Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) has approved the name of Balasaheb Thorat as the Congress Legislature Party leader in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly," Kharge told the MLAs.

    Addressing the MLAs, Sharad Pawar said: “Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will decide on the date for the vote of confidence. The governor will have no option but to call you. Unlike Manipur or Goa, this is Maharashtra. We won’t allow anything wrong to happen. We say what is right and what is wrong. We have the capacity to teach you a lesson.”

    "Karnataka is suffering under the poor governance of chief minister BS Yediyurappa and (due to) corruption. People are disappointed with the government's handling of the flood situation. People are in distress, but the BJP is indulging in immoral politics and destroying democracy," said AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka affairs KC Venugopal.

    As hectic deliberations continued, Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and K C Venugopal would be leaving for Mumbai later in the day for holding discussions with NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Earlier in the morning, Sonia Gandhi again spoke to Pawar over telephone and asked her party leaders to meet Pawar in Mumbai.

    On Wednesday, the Congress-NCP alliance gave its most categorical indication about joining hands with arch rival Shiv Sena, with former CM Prithviraj Chavan expressing confidence of forming a "stable" government soon in the state after a marathon meeting of senior leaders of the two parties. Several top leaders of the two parties met at NCP chief's residence.

    Patel also dismissed allegations that the Congress delayed formation of a prospective alliance government by withholding its consent for such arrangement. He said people of the country and Maharashtra have faith in the principles of democracy. "But that faith was insulted", Patel said without naming the BJP.

    ​While the Congress leader hoped that political uncertainty will soon end in Maharashtra, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik was unambiguous about the need to join hands with the Sena, asserting that a government cannot be formed in the state without the three parties coming together.

    Results of the October 21 Assembly polls were declared on October 24 and President's rule was imposed in the state on November 12 after no party or combine staked claim to form the new government. The meeting between Pawar and Modi at the prime minister's chamber in Parliament took place amid talks between the NCP, the Congress and the Shiv Sena for an alliance.

    The Shiv Sena on Monday suffered a setback in its efforts to cobble up a non-BJP government in Maharashtra with the Congress at the last moment announcing its decision to hold more talks with ally NCP on supporting the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.

    In a three-page memorandum, Pawar said in Nashik district crops like soyabean, paddy, finger millet, corns, bajra and vegetables like tomato and onion were at the harvesting stage but incessant and unseasonable rains completely ruined them. He said 44 farmers from Nashik have committed suicide in the face of the crisis in the last 10 months.

    Sources said the feud between Ajit Pawar on one side and Sharad Pawar and his daughter and MP Supriya Sule on the other was brewing for the last few months, triggered by disputes over ticket distribution for the Lok Sabha and the assembly elections.

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