Bid to form opposition front without Congress will help BJP, says leader Nana Patole

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole on Wednesday said any attempt to form an ‘anti-BJP front’ without his party will indirectly help the BJP.

Talking to reporters at Faizpur in Jalgaon district, he also said elections were three years away and COVID-19 management was the priority of his party.

Amid speculations about formation of an ‘anti-BJP front’, Patole said such a front was not possible without the Congress.

“Any attempt to do so will indirectly help the BJP,” he said.

In 2019, the Congress tied-up with the Shiv Sena and NCP to form government in Maharashtra under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray.

Last week, Patole caused a flutter in the ruling alliance in Maharashtra by saying the Congress will contest future elections on its own.

All India Congress Committee’s Maharashtra in-charge H K Patil recently asked the state party unit to focus on strengthening the organisation and leave the decision on alliances or going solo in future polls to the party high command.

On Wednesday, Patole said the welfare of farmers and youth, who are facing the “crisis of unemployment”, was the Congress’s priority.

“I have already spoken about elections and the message has reached the party workers. Elections are three years away and I will not speak on it. We will highlight misdeeds of the Narendra Modi government in handling the COVID-19 pandemic and the neglect of farmers,” he said.

In a veiled jibe at the Congress, Chief Minister and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said people would “beat with footwear” those who only talk about contesting elections alone without offering solutions to people’s problems.

An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ recently said there is no harm in contesting polls independently, but everyone should check the ground beneath.

Patole said, “Today we symbolically buried three (controversial) farm laws of the Centre. A Congress meeting in Faizpur led by (former prime minister) Jawaharlal Nehru and other senior leaders of the freedom movement had deliberated on how farmers’ policies should be framed, and the need of the hour is the revisit that.”