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Congress heavyweights Balasaheb Thorat, Nana Patole and Ashok Chavan   

Congress’ Patole Disturbs MVA Peace, Drives NCP-Sena Closer

Congress in Maharashtra is a divided house. The state unit chief Nana Patole seems to be a man in hurry – with his going solo mission for future elections. His frequent outbursts against CM Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar (alleged to be tracking his moves) and describing Sharad Pawar as “MVA’s remote control” has shocked many. Veterans like Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan, and young Turks like Sunil Kedar and Satej Patil want party to expand but insist that it should not be at the cost of allies Shiv Sena and NCP. They suspect that Pataole’s stratagems may work to the advantage of Sena and NCP, who have consolidated their position in the state. Both, Sena and NCP have made it amply clear that if the Congress ditches the alliance, then the two parties will contest elections together. Congress insiders point out that both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are keen for the continuation of the party’s alliance with Sena and NCP, both at the state and the national level. Meanwhile it is learnt that a section of Congress has quietly launched movement to oust Patole and bring in a new chief who will be a bridge maker. But, the question remains: is Patole acting on his own volition or at the behest of the High Command?