MUMBAI: Tussle over the Nashik graduates’ constituency seat in the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) polls has not only exposed the raging factionalism within the Maharashtra Congress, but cast a shadow over the future of the Opposition’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) troika of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Congress Party and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction.
The Congress’ (and the MVA’s) chosen candidate for the Nashik seat, three-time MLC Sudhir Tambe, abruptly withdrew his nomination, while his son, Satyajeet Tambe, a former Maharashtra Youth Congress President, announced his candidature as an Independent.
The Congress high command has constituted a disciplinary action committee against father-son duo for deceiving the party. Satyajeet is the nephew of former state congress chief Balasaheb Thorat. It is said that the implications of the Tambe’s revolt may go far beyond immediate local consequences.
Sources said, the affinity between Satyajeet and the BJP had increased after the former was ditched by the party and was reportedly upset over Thorat promoting his daughter. The schism between uncle and nephew mirrors the cracks within the Maharashtra Congress, while having a domino effect on the relations of the Congress vis-à-vis the NCP and the Thackeray Sena.
The Nashik fiasco once again exposes poor coordination between the MVA partners. This had happened in June last year’s Rajya Sabha poll as well. Now Satyajeet’s rebellion has raised the spectre of a Congress exodus ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections.
Party sources said that the issue of ticket distribution continues to plague the Congress which continues to pile on to the old while neglecting youth. On top of it, the current party chief Nana Patole, a former BJP man, is considered as an outsider by senior state leaders like Thorat and Ashok Chavan.
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