Cong’s Nirupam adds fire to MVA conundrum in Maha

After Sanjay Raut said he had cautioned the Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders on Sachin Vaze, former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam on Tuesday sought the interrogation of Raut by the NIA.

In his tweet, Sanjay Nirupam said, “Sanjay Raut said that he was against the reinstatement of Sachin Vaze, however till yesterday he termed Vaze as an honest and capable officer, then who are the leaders on whose behest Vaze came back this should also be told, NIA should pick people like Raut and reach to the godfathers of Vaze”

Nirupam’s reaction comes a day after the statement of Raut, but it is a known fact that the former Mumbai Congress Chief was against any tie up with Shiv Sena. Nirupam, a former Shiv Sena leader had joined the Congress in 2005.

The MVA woes are far from over as the news of alleged secret meeting between Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar was leaked on Sunday and there were wild speculation on the fate of the government.

However, Maharashtra’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi on Monday rubbished the purported development and reiterated that the state government was safe and sound.

Though leaders of all three constituents — the Shiv Sena, the NCP, and the Congress — have denied any such behind-the-curtains parleys even took place, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party is fuelling the speculation on the unconfirmed clandestine meet at the home of a leading businessman.

Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said he was “not aware of any such meeting”, but “even if they meet, so what?”

“If the country’s Home Minister meets any MP or leaders of any political party, so what’s wrong with it? Pawar Saheb is a senior leader and he can meet Shah… even I can meet,” Raut countered when quizzed by media persons.

NCP General Secretary Praful Patel said in Kochi on Sunday: “The MVA was formed by the efforts of Pawar Saheb, and there is no reason to think about unnecessary things (toppling the MVA).”

Raut continued that in politics, there’s nothing really secret, and if it was so, “how did you come to know about it?”

“The Home Minister said that ‘not every meeting can be made public’. However, I recall that in the past, he had spoken about what had happened behind closed doors,” Raut said, referring to the Shah-Uddhav Thackeray meeting in February 2019 at ‘Matoshri’, the latter’s residence in Mumbai, ahead of the elections.

A Congress leader, preferring anonymity, said while there is nothing wrong with such meetings or confabulations among top national leaders, the laughable aspect of the alleged Shah-Pawar meet was the media’s wild speculation that it could lead to a collapse of the MVA government here.

Attempting to needle the MVA, BJP state President Chandrakant Patil evaded a direct response but said: “Such meetings take place routinely… In Indian culture, politics is on one side, but we should all keep meeting. Recently, such meetings have reduced in Maharashtra. Since Pawar and Shah were there (Ahmedabad), they may have met.”

To a pointed query on whether a potential BJP-NCP team-up was acceptable to him, Patil guardedly said that whatever decisions are taken by the party’s senior leadership would be accepted by all and would be always in the party’s interests.