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From Tihar, P Chidambaram sends some advice to Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition in Maharashtra

In a string of tweets from Tihar jail, the senior Congress leader also greeted the Shiv Sena-led coalition that is set to assume power later this week with Uddhav Thackeray in the lead role.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday took a sharp swipe at the BJP for its now-aborted attempt to come back to power in Maharashtra that he said, was the “most egregious violation of the Constitution’.

“It was an assault on the office of Rashtrapati to wake him up at 4.00 am to sign an order revoking President’s Rule. Why could it not have waited until 9.00 am in the morning?” Chidambaram said, referring to the presidential order lifting central rule in Maharashtra that paved the way for Devendra Fadnavis to take oath as chief minister on Saturday.

In a string of tweets from Tihar jail, the senior Congress leader also greeted the Shiv Sena-led coalition that is set to assume power later this week with Uddhav Thackeray in the lead role.

Chidambaram, who has been in custody for more than three months in the INX Media case, also had some advice for the freshly-minted coalition.

“Please subordinate your individual party interests and work together to implement the common interests of the three parties – farmers’ welfare, investment, employment, social justice and women and child welfare,” the 74-year-old politician who has played key roles in many coalition governments at the Centre said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has sought to run down the opposition effort to team up. Devendra Fadnavis who stepped down on Tuesday within 80 hours of assuming charge prophesied that the opposition coalition wouldn’t last too long. It will collapse under the weight of its contradictions, he said.

Shiv Sena and the NCP-Congress combine have been traditional rivals in Maharashtra. Over the last few weeks, leaders of the three parties have also spoken about their ideological differences and conceded that they will need to make adjustments.

Chidambaram suggested that coalition government was best placed to govern in India.

“People who observe the evolution of Parliamentary democracy will agree that complex, diverse, plural societies are best governed by coalitions that learn to compromise and agree on a Common Minimum Programme,” Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram, 74, was arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case and is currently in the ED custody in a related money laundering matter.

The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017 alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram’s tenure as the finance minister.

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