Deepening the rift among the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance, the NCP on Monday has flatly refused that there were any talks with Shiv Sena and NCP-Congress regarding an alliance in 2014. Speaking to ANI, NCP spokesperson and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, said that the Congress may have been in talks with the Sena but not the NCP. This comment comes among reports of growing discontent among ministers over portfolio distribution.
"Congress is a different party, they might have been in talk with Shiv Sena. But there was no such proposal given to NCP. It was not discussed," he said.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan revealed that the Shiv Sena had proposed to form a coalition government with his party and the NCP after the 2014 assembly election to stop the BJP from coming to power in the state. But the Congress had immediately rejected the proposal then, Chavan said. Even after the assembly election in 2019, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was not ready for a coalition with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena but she relented after long deliberations, he added.
Asked what made the Congress join hands with the ideologically opposite Sena, Chavan said, "A similar situation emerged in 2014 as well. Then too, Shiv Sena and NCP had approached me to form a coalition government to stop the BJP. I immediately rejected the offer then and said winning and losing is normal in politics. In the past too, we lost elections and sat in the opposition."
There has been discontent among the Sena-NCP-Congress after the expansion of the Maharashtra cabinet with Sena MP Sanjay Raut reportedly unhappy as his brother Sunil Raut missed out on a Cabinet berth while senior party MLA Abdul Sattar was initially miffed over getting just a Minister of State position. Apart from this, there is a feeling in the Sena camp that the NCP has walked away with not only the highest number of portfolios but also the most important ones as the Sena, for example, had to cede the Home and the Finance portfolio. Shiv Sena's 13 ministers (10 - cabinet, 3 - MoS), NCP's 13 ministers (10 - cabinet, 3 - MoS) and Congress' 10 ministers (8 - cabinet, 2 - MoS) took oath into the three-party (Shiv Sena- NCP-Congress) Maha Vikas Aghadi government.