No compromise on principles, says Congress leader on supporting Shiv Sena
As the Congress is holding discussions on whether or not to support Shiv Sena in forming a government in Maharashtra, senior party leader and former union minister Pallam Raju on Monday said there was no question on compromising with principles that the party stands for.
"There is no question of a compromise, we (Congress) act in a very very responsible manner and we do look to Sharad Pawar (NCP chief), who is a senior leader in Maharashtra, to also decide what should be the outcome," Raju said.
Speaking to reporters, he, however, said Congress' stand on its principle was very clear.
The Congress Working Committee, chaired by Party President Sonia Gandhi met in New Delhi on Monday to take a decision on whether or not to support the Shiv Sena in forming a government in Maharashtra.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which won 105 seats in the recent Assembly elections opted out of government formation in Maharashtra.
Shiva Sena has 56 MLAs while the NCP has 54 and Congress 44.
Amid talks that the NCP and Congress may support the Shiv Sena in government formation in Maharashtra, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said whatever be the decision, the two parties will take it together.
Stating that Congress always maintained an arm's distance from Shiv Senam, Raju said it is their internal differences with the BJP that has precipitated the situation in Maharashtra.
"We have to wait for the outcome of what is happening."
"Despite having an electoral understanding Congress and Shiv Sena have failed to form the government because of internal differences, we have nothing do with it. People have given us the opposition status; we will play that role," he added.
To a question on Congress being part of a coalition government in Maharashtra after having not so great experience in Karnataka, Raju said, "I cannot predict on what will happen in Maharashtra."
"Here (Karnataka) coalition was on good faith and I think it would have sustained if not for the efforts that were directly done by the central government and Amit Shah (BJP President) in harbouring 17 MLAs."
Resignation and absence of 17 Congress and JD(S) legislators from the trust vote had resulted in the collapse of HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July and paved way for the BJP to come to power in Karnataka.