News Karnataka
Thursday, June 13 2024

Regional Parties Eyeing Congress Merger, Says Sharad Pawar

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Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (SP) chief and former Union Minister Sharad Pawar’s remark once again fuelled speculation that his party could merge with the Congress.

Recently, in an interview with an English daily, Pawar had stated that several regional parties could merge with the Congress in the near future.

In 1999 Pawar parted his way with the Congress and found Nationalist Congress Party. Pawar spoke at length, how several regional parties would associate more closely with the Congress over the next two years or consider the option of merging with the Congress. 

He said his party NCP (SP) and Congress are no different and claimed that both were ideologically similar. 

Maharashtra Congress leaders welcomed the statement of Pawar, senior leader Vijay Wadettiwar termed the NCP(SP) chief a patriarch and strong follower of Gandhiji who understood the need for a strong Congress in the country in order to preserve democracy.

In a recent statement, Wadettiwar highlighted Sharad Pawar’s strong adherence to Gandhian principles, stressing his roots in the Congress and mentorship under Y.B. Chavan. He highlighted the importance of strengthening the Congress for national welfare. 

Criticizing the ruling Mahayuti coalition, he likened their sudden rise to “unseasonal rain,” causing damage akin to crop destruction. Wadettiwar expressed confidence in the Congress and predicted the downfall of the BJP-led NDA, suggesting a shift in power towards the “INDIA bloc” due to dissatisfaction with the current government’s perceived authoritarian tendencies.

MPCC President Nana Patole stated that regional parties were looking to the Congress for leadership, possibly influencing Sharad Pawar’s recent statement. 

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde  remarked sarcastically on Pawar’s remarks, insinuating that the Shiv Sena was already resembling the Congress in its language and actions, hinting at a potential merger between the two parties. 

Rumors of the NCP’s merger with the Congress have circulated since Ajit Pawar’s split from the NCP last year, aligning with the ruling coalition. However, the NCP’s leadership denied such speculations in February. Similar discussions had surfaced in 2019, with veteran Congressman Sushilkumar Shinde suggesting a possible merger based on shared ideological roots between the Congress and the NCP.

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