Thursday 26 November 2020

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Politics | Toppling Games

BJP threat subsides infighting

 

The infighting between the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party within the ruling Congress-led alliance cannot lead to the collapse of the six-day old Pratapsing Rane government as all the allies unanimously agree not to bring the Bharatiya Janata Party back to power.

The repeated threats by the NCP to pull out of the government thus appear to be nothing but bargaining tactics for cabinet berths and influential portfolios.

Precisely this is the reason deputy chief minister Wilfred de Souza, the local NCP leader, did not withdraw his support even after not inducting Micky Pacheco in the cabinet on Friday.

Rane expanded his cabinet with seven Congressmen, including those three who had quit the BJP in February and got re-elected in the by-elections held on 2 June. Pacheco was the fourth one responsible to topple the BJP government, but was not inducted in the cabinet.

Tariq Anwar and Chagan Bhujbal, the NCP emissaries who flew down here from Surat convention to resolve the crisis, insisted once again that Pacheco be given the cabinet berth.

They appear to be satisfied with Rane’s assurance to consult the high command on the issue and not in the mood to topple the government by pulling out on the issue.

“We do not want to give chance to the BJP to come back to power”, stated Anwar, expressing hope that the issue would be resolved amicably.

The emissaries also flayed the rumour that the NCP was planning to form alternate government with the help of the BJP by winning over other Congress allies on their side.

Though local Congressmen are pointing out at Delhi rather than commenting on the issue, local PCC president Ravi Naik claims that none of the legislators, who had quit the BJP, were assured a cabinet berth if they get re-elected.

De Souza as well as Pacheco however have publicly criticised the Congress for betrayal while NCP president Sharad Pawar has also described the act of non-induction as not adhering to the coalition dharma.

Sources within the Congress however reveal that the real fight is not for the cabinet berth but the influential town and country planning portfolio that deals with the real estate. The builders’ lobby from Mumbai is reportedly behind the move, as they fear that the portfolio would go to Babush Monserette, whom they are unhappy with.

Meanwhile, as a face-saving devise, deputy chief minister de Souza has decided not to accept any portfolio, till Pacheco is inducted in the cabinet.

Not withdrawing the support or not even quitting his deputy chief minister’s post appears to be a clear indication of the fact that the NCP is unwilling to take an antagonistic line on the issue and topple the Congress-led government, which has come back to power almost after four and a half years.


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