Maharashtra Congress chief says he is ‘under watch’; NCP asserts claim based on incomplete information



MUMBAI: Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole has sought to suggest the state government is keeping an eye over his movement and claimed that Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies Shiv Sena and the NCP feel the ground was slipping from beneath their feet due to his party’s growing influence.

Reacting to Patole’s suggestion that he was under watch, the NCP, which handles the home deparment, on Monday said his claim was based on incomplete information, while the Shiv Sena asserted that all was well in the ruling alliance.

Speaking at a meeting of party workers in Lonavala, a hill station around 125km from Mumbai, during the weekend, Patole said the Congress is resurrecting itself in Maharashtra and this has caused disquiet among the Shiv Sena and the NCP.

The MPCC did not name the two MVA partners while making a reference about them in his speech.

The Congress is part of the three-party Shiv Sena-led MVA government.

He also sought to hint that the government is keeping an eye on his activities.

“Every morning at 9, intelligence report is submitted to the chief minister and the home minister on what is happening in the state. The Congress is resurrecting itself and the report is making the ground beneath their feet slip away. I am here in Lonavala but the report will go to them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Patole later told a Marathi news channel that his statement hinting at tracking of his movement has been misconstrued.

“I have not made any comment that the state government is keeping a watch on me. My allegations were against the Centre. I will make a clarification when I return to Mumbai,” he said.

Meanwhile, the NCP said the allegations of Patole that he was under watch of the intelligence department were based on incomplete information.

Addressing a press conference, NCP spokesperson and minority affairs minister Nawab Malik said the police have a special department to report movements of important leaders, their meetings, political programmes and agitation.

This has been the long-standing practice irrespective of which party or alliance is in power.

Relevant information is collected and a comprehensive report is submitted to the home department and the chief minister, he said.

“If Patole is unaware of this process, he should consult former CMs of the Congress – Ashok Chavan, Sushilkumar Shinde, Prithviraj Chavan,” Malik said.

The NCP minister said if Patole doesn’t want police ‘bandobast’ (security arrangement) for himself or leaders of his party, he should make an application and the home minister would take a decision on that.

Congress leader and minister Balasaheb Thorat said, “I don’t know what he (Patole) meant. He would be in a better position to explain.”

Shiv Sena leader and minister Eknath Shinde sought to downplay Patole’s remark and said the MVA was working well.

“The Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP alliance was working fine,” he added.

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