New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray today met his alliance partners -- Congress and NCP -- at his residence in Mumbai. The decision to meet the allies came amid the reports of rift between the three parties, after a meeting between NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray earlier on Tuesday.

However, both NCP and Shiv Sena have denied any strained ties between the allies over the handling of coronavirus pandemic in the state, which is the worst-hit Indian state by the coronavirus, with over 54,000 cases.

NDTV quoted Sharad Pawar denying reports of rift between the alliance partners. "There is no threat to the Maharashtra government. All MLAs are with us," the NCP chief was quoted as saying.

Also Read: 'We are not decision makers in Maharashtra': Rahul Gandhi distances Congress from Shiv Sena, NCP

The rumours about the rift peaked after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday distanced his party from the alliance and said that they are just supporting the government and was not actually the decision maker in state’s policies.

“I would like to make a differentiation here; we are supporting the government in Maharashtra but we are not the key decision-makers in Maharashtra. We are the key decision-maker in Punjab, in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Pondicherry. So there is a difference between running a government and supporting a government,” said Rahul in a video press conference on Tuesday.

The Congress, however, issued a clarification later, saying that Rahul’s words have been twisted out of context and accused the BJP of destabilizing the ruling dispensation for power.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Speaker and Congress leader Nana Patole on Wednesday also echoed with NCP and Shiv Sena denial and denied any reports of rift. “Whatever is being said in the media over Maharashtra political situation, there is no such situation in the state. At this time, we are only working towards fighting COVID19. We are following all guidelines of Government of India”, he said as quoted by ANI.

The meeting between Thackeray and Pawar on Tuesday took place after the NCP chief met state Governor B S Koshyari on Monday morning. The NCP claimed the meeting took place on the invitation of the governor and no political issues came up for discussion.

However, the timing of the meeting is significant as it took place against the backdrop of strained relations between the Shiv Sena, which heads the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, and the Raj Bhavan.

Also Read: Thackeray, Sharad Pawar refute reports of rift in Aghadi coalition, Sena says 'Maharashtra govt strong'

According to media report, Pawar had suggested that Maharashtra should reopen gradually and wind down its indefinite shutdown to restart economic activities. He was reportedly unhappy with Thackeray's reluctance to end the lockdown and actively explore his suggestions.

Posted By: Talib Khan