Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI -

Sources in the Congress claimed that there is a strong pos­si­bil­ity of the state lead­er­ship be­ing kept in the loop about the cross vot­ing by Shetty and Mha­tre and hence, no de­ci­sion has been taken against them yet. Mha­tre is known to be a close as­so­ciate of state Congress pres­i­dent Ashok Cha­van who has vis­ited his home a cou­ple of times when he was the chief min­is­ter. “Both of them have re­cently been nom­i­nated for the state party posts and are close to the top lead­ers. They couldn’t pos­si­bly have risked tak­ing such a ma­jor step with­out their knowl­edge,” said a source.

He added, “It is a known fact that the Congress does not want NCP to grow and that it has never been com­fort­able with Ganesh Naik. The cross vot­ing could be a large plan or­ches­trated at the high­est level

to en­sure the NCP suf­fers a hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat.” He stated that mak­ing Mira Patil, a close as­so­ciate of Shetty, a stand­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber this year, pointed to things that were to come.

“It is highly un­likely that any ma­jor ac­tion will be taken against any of the lead­ers. In the past too there have been sev­eral such in­stances of party lead­ers in the city go­ing against the state pol­icy but fac­ing lit­tle ac­tion,” said the source. Deny­ing any big­ger plan, An­tu­lay said, “I am not aware of any plan and such talk is ir­re­spon­si­ble.” He ex­plained, “De­ci­sion mak­ing in the Congress takes time as we are a na­tional party and not a re­gional party. There are pro­ce­dures to be fol­lowed and state and na­tional level de­lib­er­a­tions take place be­fore a fi­nal de­ci­sion is taken.”

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