Congress says Nana Patole’s comments ‘misconstrued’

Mumbai: Congress on Tuesday said that its Maharashtra unit President Nana Patole’s recent controversial remarks were “misconstrued” and “taken out of context”.

“Nana Patole’s statements were distorted, taken out of context… It was all a creation of the media which created a misunderstanding. He has also explained what he actually meant,” Maharashtra in charge H.K. Patil told media persons.

He said Patole has said that the crux of his assertions was directed at the Central government, and hence the matter is closed now.

Patil added that it would not be proper for the other Maha Vikas Aghadi allies – Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party – to comment on the matter after Patole’s clarification.

“Rajdharma doesn’t permit anything which created inconvenience for the alliance partners. The MVA government is stable and will last its full term,” Patil asserted, drawing a clear line for the allies.

Patole’s statement in Lonavala on Sunday – claiming Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, were “watching” him had sparked off a political row among the ruling allies with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party also jumping into the frothing cauldron.

Patil’s assurances came in the presence of top central and state leaders like Vamshi Reddy, state ministers Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan, Working Presidents Naseem Khan, Chandrakant Handore, Shivajirao Moghe, Basavraj Patil, Praniti Shinde, Kunal Patil, Manikrao Thakre, Prithviraj Chavan, Mohan Joshi, etc.

Patil further said that the issue of Maharashtra Speaker’s post was a “settled matter” and it would go to the Congress – as has been earlier indicated by NCP President Sharad Pawar and Sena leaders.

Amid a clamour in sections of the party to contest future elections independently, Patil also held a series of meetings with the Congress leaders, a day after the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge visited the state for a similar exercise.

The party is launching all-out preparations for the upcoming crucial elections to 24 Zilla Parishads, 144 Municipalities and 22 Municipal Corporations across the state, which will be a litmus test for the 20-month-old MVA government’s performance.