This Article is From Jul 12, 2023

Maharashtra Congress Leaders In Delhi. What They Discussed

The Congress has now emerged as the largest opposition party in Maharashtra and staked claim to the post of Leader of Opposition in the assembly, but a decision is yet to be taken formally on the issue.

Maharashtra Congress Leaders In Delhi. What They Discussed
New Delhi:

Senior Congress leaders from Maharashtra on Tuesday discussed the political situation in the wake of the split in the NCP with the party leadership here and said the people will give a strong response to the BJP for the "political fraud" it has committed in the state.

The party also decided to launch its Lok Sabha poll campaign from Wednesday onwards and assigned the responsibility of each parliamentary constituency to its senior leaders, who will take out a padayatra in September in every district and a bus yatra later in November or December.

The Congress has now emerged as the largest opposition party in Maharashtra and staked claim to the post of Leader of Opposition in the assembly, but a decision is yet to be taken formally on the issue.

Congress leaders are discussing the aftermath of the NCP split and how it will affect the party's prospects in the state ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

Party president Mallikarjun Kharge and former chief Rahul Gandhi were present during the meeting at the AICC headquarters.

"The BJP has hurt the self-respect of Maharashtra by using its 'washing machine'.

The Congress party will give a befitting reply to this political fraud. The people of Maharashtra will give a strong political response to the continuous attacks on the mandate by the BJP," Mr Kharge said in a tweet in Hindi.

"Our leaders and workers will help the people of Maharashtra get back their government. We have always maintained our place in the minds of the people of Maharashtra. We will further strengthen the glorious relationship between Maharashtra and the Congress," he said.

Mr Gandhi said Maharashtra is the "bastion" of the Congress.

"Our focus is on strengthening the Congress party there and raising the voice of the people. Together, we will ensure that this anti-people government is defeated," he said in a Facebook post.

After the four-hour meeting, AICC general secretary, organisation, K C Venugopal said, "We have done five assembly election-going state preparations review. Today we have started the parliamentary elections preparations and we started with Maharashtra. For four hours, we have discussed issues pertaining to Maharastra matters."

"The state is in total crisis because of the BJP's power hungry politics. The BJP's misuse of agencies is causing massive resentment among the people of Maharashtra," he tweeted.

In the run-up to 2024 elections, every Lok Sabha seat has been assigned to a senior leader, he said, adding that every senior leader will conduct a padayatra in each Lok Sabha seat from September onwards and all senior leaders will collectively take out a pan-state Bus Yatra in December.

"From now onwards, the Congress is completely focussed on the 2024 elections and will work with its MVA allies to defeat the BJP," he said on Twitter.

He told reporters that Kharge in his introductory remarks strongly appealed to the leaders of Maharashtra that every leader should stand unitedly and make Congress stronger in the state.

"Rahul Gandhi also shared his experience of Bharat Jodo Yatra through Maharashtra, which was one of the best throughout the country. He said that gave a confidence that the Congress is very strong in Maharashtra. He appealed to the leaders on how to make deep roots all over Maharashtra and make the party big and strong," he said.

"We decided that all senior leaders should take responsibility of parliamentary constituencies," Mr Venugopal said.

All the leaders who participated in the discussions were quite confident that "the way the BJP is trying to demolish democracy in Maharashtra, will have a big negative impact on the BJP. This is what was the general impression".

"In Maharashtra, we are going to sweep. We are going to fight together under MVA and certainly BJP's politics of dividing political parties using ED and money, is going to have a bigger price for them in coming elections. People are ready to defeat the BJP," Mr Venugopal said.

AICC in-charge for Maharashtra H K Patil, former chief ministers and senior party leaders Sushilkumar Shinde, Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan were also present in the meeting.

The deliberations come after a faction of the NCP led by Ajit Pawar switched over to join hands with the NDA. Ajit Pawar has since joined the NDA government in Maharashtra and has taken over as deputy chief minister.

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said, "Whenever elections are held in Maharashtra, Congress will emerge as the single largest party. We will take out a bus yatra in Maharashtra and tell the public how the Modi government has done the work of buying Maharashtra's ideology by creating fear."

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)