Nagpur: Serving show cause notice to former minister Satish Chaturvedi for anti-party activities has brought two factions of City Congress in sparring ring. The ‘war of attrition’ is likely to see the two warring groups at loggerheads in coming days and weeks.
The show cause notice, signed by City Congress chief Vikas Thakre, blamed Chaturvedi for fielding rebel candidates and campaigning for them in Nagpur Municipal Corporation election and helping rival party in several Prabhags. The letter further said that many complaints were received from the party workers accusing Chaturvedi and his supporters of working against the party interests.
Apparently upset by the notice, the supporters of Chaturvedi launched a scathing attack on Thakre and claimed the City Congress President has no authority at all to serve such notice. On the other hand, Thakre hit back by saying that the notice was slapped on Chaturvedi as per orders of MPCC President and reminded the ‘rebel’ leader that he was no longer holding any post in the party. “Chaturvedi should remember this fact,” Thakre stated.
The vertical split in City Congress was clearly visible soon after formation of executive and ticket distribution in NMC election last year. Two factions in the party emerged — former Union Minister Vilas Muttemwar versus Chaturvedi-Raut-Ahmed. To make matter worse, ink was thrown on MPCC President Ashok Chavan during campaigning of NMC poll. The bickering got intensified when it came to fore that Chaturvedi supporters were behind the nasty incident. The faceoff between the two factions jolted Congress severely as the party fared poorly in the local body election. Only 18 Corporators in the house 151 got elected. As if the humiliation was not enough, a new controversy gripped the party as Muttemwar-Thakre nominated Sanjay Mahakalkar for post of Leader of Opposition in NMC was replaced by a group 16 ‘rebel’ Corporators , supported by Chaturvedi. Tanaji Vanve was appointed on the post in place of Mahakalkar. Congress went to court and challenged the move. Thereafter, there was a flurry of conflicting activities on part of both the factions. A tradition of organising two separate programmes in city set in. Nagpur witnessed Gandhi Jayanti, Indira Gandhi Birth Centenary and other important event being organised separately by the two groups.
Expectations of ‘peace’ prevailing in the two sparring factions were high when Ashok Chavan was appointed MPCC President for second term. But with the serving of show cause notice to Chaturvedi, the matter has reached a breaking point from where ‘normalcy’ seems ‘impossible.’ Irrespective of the saying, ‘everything is possible in politics.’