While a marginalised Shukla hitched his wagon to Pawar's, Karunakaran hasn't done so despite loaded signals. "These are separate states. Why should events in one state affect another?" says CWC member and Maharashtra in-charge Vyalar Ravi, who won a Rajya Sabha seat against Karunakaran's nominee in the April 14 poll. "Our alliance is limited to Maharashtra," counters NCP MP and spokesman Praful Patel. "Or else, we will have to close shop in other states. In any case, our overtures in Meghalaya and Gujarat were not acceptable to the Congress."
The Congress-NCP combine routed the Shiv Sena-bjp in elections to two local bodies in Konkan and Jalgaon earlier this month (and in the zilla parishad elections last year). This is a clear indication that their best bet of coming back to power in Maharashtra is by persisting with their coalition. The combine's inroads into Konkan, hitherto a Shiv Sena bastion, is particularly significant.