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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Nirupam: Accepting #3 position in Maha’ govt like burying INC

Sanjay Nirupam invokes the memory of INC aligning with BSP in UP in 1996, after which the Congress was reduced to irrelevance in that State

INC, NCP and Shiv Sena coming together to form government in Maharashtra, notwithstanding the diametrically opposite ideologies the party of the Thackerays and the other two partners of the proposed coalition represent, is not going down well with everybody. Now a voice from within the Congress has spoken up against this alliance. Sanjay Nirupam has tweeted that the Congress is making a mistake in Maharashtra.

Nirupam wrote that the INC had made a mistake by aligning with the BSP in Uttar Pradesh years ago which devastated the oldest party in that State to the extent that it could not rise again. In Maharashtra too, the Congress is making the same mistake, becoming the third party in a Shiv Sena-led government, he said, likening the patchwork to burying the INC. It would be better if the INC president did not come under pressure, Nirupam wrote.

Nirupam has been opposing the idea to align with the Shiv Sena since the time Thackerays’ party failed to form a Mahayuti government with the BJP. Some other local leaders of the INC are gradually rising against this alliance.

Nirupam referred to the INC-BSP alliance in the 1996 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election in his tweet. In the last two decades, the INC has turned near-irrelevant in Uttar Pradesh.

Ironically, Nirupam earned his name in politics as an activist of the Shiv Sena until he left the party in March 2005.

Govt soon despite reservations of Nirupam

For the past several days, there have been several rounds of meetings between the INC and NCP, after which it is almost certain the two parties will align with the Shiv Sena to form the next Maharashtra government.

A penultimate round of meetings is going on in Delhi between the INC and NCP leaders on Thursday. This will be followed by a final meeting with the Shiv Sena in Mumbai tomorrow.

INC pushes ‘secularism’

Shiv Sena’s image is that of a staunch Hindutva party. The INC, disturbed from within due to the compulsion of forming a government or accepting President’s rule for six months, yesterday tried to push its ideology by demanding that the proposed coalition must bear the term “secular” in its name.

The Shiv Sena reportedly resisted the move. After this, it was decided that the common minimum programme will mention the Preamble of the Constitution, which, in effect, is acceptance of being ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’, the two terms Indira Gandhi had surreptitiously introduced through the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1976 while the Indian nation-state was in a state of Emergency.

In November 1948 at a Constitutional Assembly meeting, BR Ambedkar had turned down the proposal of KT Shah to include these terms in the Constitution.

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