- Political atmosphere poisonous, economy has collapsed: Sonia Gandhi
- Country faced "unprecedented threats" from the BJP: Mrs Gandhi
- I wish you personally all the very best, Mrs Gandhi wrote in her letter
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in a letter to Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray before his swearing in as Maharashtra Chief Minister on Thursday, wrote that the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress have come together under extraordinary circumstances at a time the country faced "unprecedented threats" from the BJP. Her son Rahul Gandhi, who is also not attending the oath ceremony, wrote in a separate letter that he was "glad" the alliance had come together against the BJP and expressed confidence that it would provide a "stable, secular and pro-poor" government.
The political atmosphere has become poisonous and the economy has collapsed, Sonia Gandhi wrote. "Farmers are facing great distress. The Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress have agreed to a common programme and I am confident that all three parties will strive their utmost to implement that programme in letter and spirit," she said in the letter.
The people of Maharashtra expect the alliance to provide cohesive, purposeful, responsible, responsive and transparent administration and our collective effort will undoubtedly be to ensure that these expectations are fulfilled," the Congress president wrote in her first ever letter to the Shiv Sena chief.
Sonia Gandhi said she would be unable to attend the oath ceremony, noting that Mr Thackeray's son Aaditya "met me yesterday and extended your kind invitation".
"I wish you personally all the very best as you embark on a new innings in your life," she wrote.
Aaditya Thackeray flew down to Delhi last evening and met several political leaders including Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to invite them to his father's oath ceremony.
The Sena-NCP-Congress alliance or Maha Vikas Aghadi was formed after days of discussions to arrive at a common ground, given the ideological differences between the parties.
It took many consultations with senior leaders before Sonia Gandhi relented and gave her blessing to the alliance. Uddhav Thackeray had dialed her and requested the Congress's support to form government -- a scenario that was unthinkable till now since the Sena had been in a long-term relationship with the BJP.