Both Congress and NCP chief Sharad Pawar have realised that unless they are together, it would be difficult for their political existence in Maharashtra, due to aggressive postures of BJP. But Sharad Powers political manuars making Congress uneasy.
First, he supposedly gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal and tried to puncture the campaign of the Congress. Though he had later given a clarification, that failed to convince many in the opposition. His close relationship with Modi are known to every one.
Moreover, he has complicated the politics further in the state. His NCP is making moves to include the MNS in the alliance, which is on the cards against the BJP in Maharashtra. But, the Congress is strongly opposing this move. The State Congress leadership fears that MNS track record of adopting policies against non-Marathis, would have disastrous affect on Congress party in several Northern states.
There have been several instances of attack on North Indians in Mumbai by the workers of Raj Thackeray. The Congress is of the view that if the party goes with the MNS, its core vote bank will be disappointed.
But the NCP says that the MNS is necessary to unite all anti-BJP forces. The NCP knows that the Congress will not accept the MNS in the alliance, but Sharad Pawar is doing this to build pressure on Rahul Gandhi.
On the other hand, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti — the new partner of the Congress — wants an alliance with Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar. He wants the Congress and NCP to show their magnanimity and include smaller parties in the alliance after giving them respectable seats.
This must be noted that Raju Shetti is an MP, and the last time round, he had fought along with the BJP. The Congress might just give in to his demand and include Ambedkar in the alliance.