Party mouthpiece Saamana advises restraint to Congress leaders, state chief in particular, to win over upset Thorat
Nana Patole (right) The editorial has said Nana Patole and Balasaheb Thorat burying the hatchet would be in the interest of the party. File pics
Blaming Congress leader Nana Patole’s hasty resignation from the Speaker’s post for the MVA government’s fall last year, the Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece, Saamana, has advised restraint to the warring leaders from the ally, Patole in particular. An editorial in the newspaper adds that this is to avoid further damage to their party that Rahul Gandhi has handed good advantage, through his Bharat Jodo Yatra.
The expressions in Saamana are seen as the Sena’s official views. Expressing concerns about infighting in the Congress which has its state unit president Patole and his predecessor, Balasaheb Thorat at play, the editorial has said burying the hatchet would be in the interest of the party; and the situation, if not corrected, could give the Bharatiya Janata Party much-wanted things on a platter.
While quitting the Congress Legislative Party’s leadership, Thorat had accused Patole of unilateralism in running the party affairs and maligning his image in the recent political developments. His resignation came after an MLC poll fiasco that ultimately led to a rebel and Thorat’s nephew Satyajeet Tambe’s victory in Nashik. Patole has said his actions were in tune with the high command’s wish to end nepotism and all-in-family politics.
The Saamana edit said Thorat’s anger could be justified, because he was the senior most leader who deserved due respect within the party. “Thorat was the party president before Patole, and he worked in coordination with others when the MVA government was in place,” it said as it went on explaining the main reason for the government’s fall in June last year.
‘Not a mature decision’
“There are several reasons for the government’s fall, but the main reason was the then Speaker Patole’s hasty resignation. Patole’s decision wasn’t clever and mature. A series of problems (for the MVA government) came up thereafter. The Speaker’s post is very crucial to the alliance government. If Patole was there in the Speaker’s office, the following crisis could have been tackled. It could have been much easier to disqualify the defectors (rebel Sena MLAs) then and there. However, the Governor did not allow the Speaker’s election and that benefited the khokebaaj MLAs and their super power in Delhi,” it read.
The edit wondered how a hardworking Patole was expected to make the party grow while crossing swords with a family (Thorat) that kept the Congress alive during its critical phases. “The MVA will definitely benefit if Patole takes the party further without intensifying the (ongoing) tussle. Or else, the BJP has set its sights on ready-made leadership from other parties, it said, adding that the BJP must be happy seeing Thorat’s ‘revolting posture’.
‘Be cautious, Congress’
“The Congress should be cautious in Thorat’s case. Thorat has Congress blood flowing in his veins, but he is angry presently. Satyajeet Tambe has said he will not go anywhere. If the Congress was clever enough, it could have closed the chapter after Satyajeet’s victory by discussing it with Thorat. But it seems the Congress keeps the flag of ego flying high even after the fall of its fortress,” the editorial said.
The Congress said Patole had resigned following the party high command’s instructions and called Saamana’s comments unwarranted. “The criticism is inappropriate and unwarranted. The ally should be respected as alliance dharma,” said state chief spokesperson Atul Londhe.
“Patole did not resign hastily, but the then party national president Sonia Gandhi had instructed him to do so. The Congress has a decision-making process that is respected by all. Considering the political situation then, the said decision was in the party’s interest. It is meaningless to allege that Patole’s resignation triggered a series of crises for the MVA government. There is no relevance to ‘ifs and buts’ in politics. There could be many other reasons that posed MVA difficulties,” added Londhe in a statement.
He said it was within the Congress rights to decide internally. “To say that the decision was wrong and criticise it publically isn’t as per the alliance dharma,” Londhe said further.