Asked if there was a threat to the existence of the MVA government, Patole said anything could happen since, in the last two-and-a-half years, NCP “had taken all possible steps to wipe out Congress from the state”. “Anything can happen, it is for the Congress high command to take a decision,” he told TOI.
Deputy CM Ajit Pawar had last week retorted by saying Patole should think before he makes such statements as they could have an impact on the alliance.
Patole, though, continued his criticism on Monday, saying that whether it was the elections to the Gondia and Bhandara zilla parishads, the Amravati District Central Cooperative Bank and the Bhiwandi Municipal Corporation or whether it was allocation of funds, NCP had taken the Congress for a ride. “In the Bhandara and Gondia ZP elections, I spoke to state NCP president Jayant Patil and NCP leader Praful Patel, but there was complete non-cooperation. Instead, NCP joined hands with BJP,” Patole said.
Patole said when it was clear after the 2019 assembly elections that though BJP had emerged as the single largest party, it could not form the government, Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena had decided to join hands and form the government. Congress had then not staked claim to the CM’s post. “Congress high command agreed to form the government as its main aim was to keep BJP out of power. A common minimum programme was drafted before formation of government. Now, we have found that the programme has been given the go-by and NCP has imposed its own formula. It’s an unacceptable situation. We demand that the programme be implemented in letter and spirit,” Patole said. He said in the last two years, NCP had poached several prominent activists of Congress.