The Shiv Sena locked in combat with Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for the control of the party, there is a question mark on the Maha Vikas Aghadi Alliance that ruled Maharashtra for more than two years. As 66 of the 67 Sena members of the Thane Municipal Corporation showed support for the Shinde faction, Congress's Nana Patole said the party was ready to go it alone if the alliance falls through.
"We had a Congress Mayor both in Mumbai and Thane for some years. So I don't think it is a problem for the Congress. We can win a battle there. If there is no decision on the alliance at a local level, then we can contest on our own," he said.
There is no word on when the civic polls are due. The terms of many civic bodies in Maharashtra, including Thane, are over. But elections are pending over the rains and pending appeals in the Supreme Court over reservations for Other Backward Classes.
Talking about the local bodies polls held during the MVA government, Mr Patole said the parties had contested separately and the Congress had done well.
"We got enough votes and moved to number two from the number four spot. I think if we consult the locals and plan for it -- no decision has been taken yet," he said.
Asked if the MVA still exists he said, he said: "It is this way. The MVA was formed to govern Maharashtra. Our leader Sonia Gandhi said 'Yes' after seeing a Common Minimum Programme. And the Congress on its part supported it fully. Now what happened inside that party -- the government collapsed because of that. The Congress is still with them. Now whether to continue or not (the alliance) is upto them".
The MVA government collapsed last month after a two-week rebellion by Eknath Shinde, who has since formed government in alliance with the BJP.
Forty of the 55 Sena MLAs had supported the Shinde faction, leaving Uddhav Thackeray fighting to retain control of the party his father Balasaheb Thackeray had founded.