Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the tri-party ruling coalition of Maharashtra, is not new to the news of fissure in the alliance. The tri-party alliance is somehow rolling for almost a year despite flashpoints emerging between the leaders and ministers of the three parties with every passing day. Congress, the party which got the smallest share in the power-sharing, is making most of the allegations on Shiv Sena as well as NCP.
The latest flashpoint between the Congress and NCP is over relief to consumers over electricity bills. Many domestic electricity consumers received bills many times more than consumption and state power minister, Congress leader Nitin Raut wants to provide relief to consumers. However, senior NCP leader and Deputy CM of the state Ajit Pawar squarely rejected the proposal of relief to electricity consumers.
Nitin Raut asked Pawar for finances to subsidise electricity for consumers but he refused to give a single penny to the State Power Department. “Whatever relief has to be provided, has to be provided by the state government, power companies won’t do that. Our department has submitted a proposal for that relief to the state government not once but eight times. But every time it was sent back. You can pretend everything else, but you can’t pretend to have money,” said power minister Nitin Raut.
In the last one year ministers from Congress portfolio have alleged discrimination in the budgetary allotment. Also, State Congress Chief and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that the Congress governed local bodies are not receiving funds from the state government.
On the other hand, the transport department, which is under the Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab, has been allotted assistance of 10,000 crore rupees.
NCP and Shiv Sena are suspected to be squeezing funds from the ministries under the Congress leaders to ensure that the performance of the grand old party is not up to the mark and they can gulp its voter base whenever the next election is conducted.
Only a few months ago, Nitin Raut was planning to give free power to the consumers for the consumption of up to 100 units. “We have asked our department to look into whether the scheme can be implemented. The department will be submitting a report within the next three months,” said Raut while speaking to media persons in February this year, a few months before lockdown. Now the Nitin Raut led ministry does not have enough money to even provide relief to consumers who received inflated bills during the lockdown.
The Congress party is the ultimate loser of this alliance as it is the only party that could not go with BJP. Shiv Sena and NCP both could go with BJP and form the government and the other two parties of the alliance would be out of power. Out of the two, Congress would lose power surely whether Shiv Sena or NCP goes with BJP. Therefore, to ensure that BJP does not come to power, Congress is compromising. Its ministers have little autonomy in functioning and the budget of their ministries is being reduced while NCP and Shiv Sena ministers are having a free run.