After Nashik MLC polls, deep fissures appear in Maha Congress

Mumbai, Feb 6 (IANS): Days after the Nashik Graduates Constituency polls in which a rebel Congressman Satyajeet Tambe won as an Independent backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, wide cracks have emerged in the state Congress.

A senior 8-time MLA and Congress Legislative Party leader Balasaheb Thorat has reportedly shot off a letter to the Congress high command complaining against the state party president Nana Patole.

The development has created ripples in the party as the mild-mannered Thorat is himself a former state party chief and minister for several years, with a reputation to take along all sections and factions of the state unit.

Addressing party workers and supporters on Sunday, Thorat expressed distress at the manner in which the 'dirty intra-party politics' ostensibly fuelled the recent rebellion by his nephew Tambe - who won the Nashik MLC seat.

"I have informed the central leadership in Delhi about this entire episode. Appropriate action will be initiated," said Thorat, without taking names.

Tambe -- who vanquished Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)'s united candidate and a former BJP rebel Shubhangi Patil -- has also alleged that the recent developments were a 'conspiracy' to put his uncle (Thorat) in trouble.

Incidentally, after her defeat by Tambe, Patil has joined the Shiv Sena (UBT), even as the MVA leaders have signalled to the Congress to sort out its internal issues on priority.

When questioned, a tense Patole said he was not aware of any such letter written by Thorat or its content, so he was not in a position to reply to anything based on hearsay.

Among other things, Tambe -- who was expelled by the Congress for six years -- had claimed that he was denied the AB Form for the MLC polls despite an assurance from the party, compelling him to contest as a Independent and emerging victorious.

Though the state Congress has denied Tambe's allegations, other senior leaders including Vijay Wadettiwar have termed the entire issue as disturbing and called for thrashing it out in the party forum later this week.

Enjoying a rapport with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Tambe - a former state Youth Congress president - has dropped ample hints of joining hands with the BJP.

Hoping to avert such a possibility, MVA leaders including Nationalist Congress Party's Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, have urged the Congress and Tambe to forget the past, bury the hatchet and make up.



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Title: After Nashik MLC polls, deep fissures appear in Maha Congress

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