Spl article: Tussle could intensify among Cong and Sena in Maharashtra on several issues

Amit Deshmukh & Vinayak raut

All is not well among the allies of Maha-Vikas-Aghadi in Maharashtra government. The internal tussle between the two key allies of the Aghadi—the Shiv Sena and the Congress– has apparently come to public when the Sena Lok Sabha member, Vinayak Raut has alleged that state Congress minister Amit Deshmukh is trying to divert a central project meant for Konkan to his Assembly constituency Latur in Marathwada region.

Targetting the Congress leader Deshmukh, who is the son of former chief minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Lok Sabha member from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, said the Ayush Ministry has finalised setting up the National Institute of Medicinal Plants at Sindhudurg in Konkan region, but Deshmukh “on his own” wrote to the Centre seeking to locate the project at Latur, his assembly constituency, in the Marathwada region.

Talking to a Marathi TV news channel, Raut on Tuesday said the Narendra Modi government has finalised Adali village at Dodamarg in Sindhudurg as the location for setting up the institute and sought the state government’s feedback on the same. “While all preparations have been made at the local level, suddenly, a letter with the sign of the Maharashtra minister was sent to the Centre for locating the project to Latur, instead,” Raut alleged.

The Sena leader said he had tried to meet Amit Deshmukh several times to discuss the issue and also sent a letter in this regard. The minister, however, did not respond, Raut claimed. Moreover, the Guardian minister of Ratnagiri district, Uday Samant also took efforts. “But, he (Amit Deshmukh) did not meet us even once. It does not suit him to run away with the project thus,” Raut alleged.

It seems that the bitterness between the Sena and the Congress could grow further on the issue in coming days. Besides this Konkan issue, Congress may confront with the Sena on Farm Bill which was adopted by the Parliament recently. Sena had supported the bill in Lok Sabha while the Congress opposed it and launched a massive agitation against it across the country.

The Shiv Sena and Congress, along with the NCP, came together last year to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state after the Uddhav Thackeray-led party and the BJP severed ties.

Now the tussle between the allies has gone extreme. This government pretends that they are a family. However, in reality, it is like a broken family. It would be an acid test for the aghadi to intact themselves in coming days!

 – M Charulata