Amravati, Feb 22: Senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil today said his party was ready for mid-term polls though he doesn’t see the possibility of the state BJP government reducing to minority in the wake of the threat by estranged ally Shiv Sena to walk out of government. Commenting on the evolving political scenario in the state following the rupture of the alliance between Shiv Sena and BJP in the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation), Vikhe Patil said he didn’t see the possibility of the Devendra Fadnavis government getting reduced to minority.
He predicted the Congress would emerge as number one party tomorrow when the counting of votes for the local bodies and civic bodies wold be done. Elections to ten municipal corporations, including the Mumbai civic body, 25 Zilla Parishads and 283 panchayat samitis were held in two phases on February 16 and 21. Shiv Sena and BJP contested the elections separately. “Sena challenges the BJP but does not quit power. BJP and Sena are entertaining people (by hurling charges and counter-charges at each other). The state government will not be reduced to minority.
“And if such situation arises, the Congress too is ready for mid-term polls. Our party will never align with Sena to form government with the NCP support,” he told reporters while responding to a query whether the Congress, NCP and the Sena would come together to rule the state. Interestingly, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP had earlier said they were ready for mid-term polls, whereas Sena said people wanted elections for bringing a change.
He said the BJP could achieve some success in the municipal council elections, held in November, because people had decided to grant Prime Minister Narendra Modi 50-day time which he had sought for ending the distress caused to people due to demonetisation of high value currency notes. “However, the situation is different in recently-held elections to local bodies and civic bodies. There is a tremendous outrage against the government in rural belts.
Tomorrow’s results will mark the emergence of the Congress as the number one party,” he claimed. Vikhe Patil reiterated his charge that the public spat between the alliance partners the BJP and Shiv Sena, was mere an “eyewash” and a planned strategy to divert people’s attention from the “failure of the NDA government.” “This government has nothing done anything worthwhile since its inception. It has been incurring heavy expenditure on advertisements. It is not a government but an event management company,” Vikhe Patil said.