Congress deputes Kamal Nath to defuse Maha crisis

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) As survival threat looms over the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra with several Shiv Sena MLAs camping in Surat, the Congress has deputed senior leader and former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath to defuse the political crisis.
Sources from Surat said, the number of dissident MLAs is increasing and by the evening two more MLAs including a female one has reached the hotel. Earlier, only 30 rooms were booked in the hotel, now 20 more have been booked.
Congress is one of the allies of the ruling MVA coalition in Maharashtra which also comprises Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi has appointed Kamal Nath as a special observer to look into the political crisis, especially after some Congress members reportedly cross-voted during the recent MLC elections in Maharasthra.
Kamal Nath shares a good rapport with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told the media, “There is crisis within the Congress as many MLAs did not vote for the designated party candidate in the MLC polls.”
Sources said the party is likely to replace Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Balasaheb Thorat. Congress’ Maharashtra in-charge H.K. Patil has also been rushed to Mumbai.
About two-dozen Congress MLAs from Maharashtra had met Sonia Gandhi in April to discuss the issues facing the party in the state. The MLAs had complained that Congress ministers in the MVA government were ignoring the party workers and there was strong resentment against them due to this.
Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Janata Party is keeping a close watch on political developments in Maharashtra and exploring all the options, but cautious in its approach keeping the past experience in the state.
A political crisis hit the Maha Vikas Agadhi government on Tuesday morning when over 25 Shiv Sena MLAs, including Minister Eknath Shinde became ‘unreachable’. Sources said that rebel Shiv Sena MLAs shifted to a hotel in Surat as they are dissatisfied and unhappy with the party and the MVA government.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to fly its 106 Maharashtra MLAs to Gujarat on a chartered flight, as the party fears poaching by the Shiv Sena. Meanwhile, in the evening another seven Shiv Sena MLAs landed in Surat. They were flown from Delhi to Surat.
The BJP gave a big jolt to the ruling MVA alliance this month by getting all its candidates elected in Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council polls. In the Rajya Sabha polls, the BJP bagged three seats, while the ruling alliance secured three, with one each for Sena-NCP-Congress, while the Sena’s second candidate was defeated.

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