The Nationalist Congress Party showed its true colours when the party president Sharad Pawar asked cadre to prepare for the snap polls. NCP had earlier offered unconditional support to the BJP led minority government for providing a stable government. However, in a rapidly changing political scenario in Maharashtra NCP is in a hurry to withdraw support and press for fresh election in the state. Sharad Pawar is already known as a tactful politician who plays his political cards well.
According to sources, Pawar was responsible for the break-up of 25 year old alliance between Shiv Sena and BJP. Pawar’s gameplan was to create a rift between both the parties and then create a political instability in the state. Later, Maharashtra will have to go for assembly polls once again as he could increase his tally in the state. The break-up of Shiv Sena and BJP alliance proved to be a boon for both NCP and Congress which were routed in the Lok Sabha election. Both the parties could manage to win 41 and 42 seats respectively in the assembly polls. Pawar also said that his party can’t assure that BJP will last for five years.
Pawar sounded poll bugle while addressing a two-day party meeting at Alibaug. He said, “If the BJP and Shiv Sena had joined together, there could have been stability. However, that did not happen. If the situation continues like this for the next six months, it will be time for fresh Assembly elections.”
“Having a stable government in Maharashtra isn’t NCP’s responsibility,” said Pawar.
Pawar called upon the NCP leaders to focus on constituencies which the party came second in the last Assembly elections. “NCP won 41 seats, came in second position on 56 seats and third position on 51 seats. This means, we have the potential to win 148 seats,” he said.
State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had won a controversial confidence vote last week after NCP declared outside support to his minority government.
As the confidence motion was passed by a voice vote, there was an uproar by Sena and Congress, with the two parties petitioning Governor C Vidyasagar Rao to direct the government to seek a fresh vote in which its strength be determined through division of votes.
On the other hand, Shiv Sena wanted to join the BJP led government but there was lack of consensus between both the parties over portfolio allotment. After Pawar’s remarks the Shiv Sena came forward and said that it was willing to support the BJP if the need arises. Sena Leader of Opposition Eknath Shinde and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut made it clear that the party would not hesitate to support the Fadnavis government in case a political crisis, as envisaged by Pawar, arose. Raut warned that Sena won’t allow anyone to destabilise the BJP government. But both leaders said the final decision in this matter would be taken only by party president Uddhav Thackeray.
The BJP has 121 MLAs and has the support of an ally and nine independents as well as some smaller parties besides the ‘unconditional external support’ of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with 41 MLAs.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis attended the second death anniversary of Bal Thackeray accompanied by cabinet ministers and paid tributes to the Sena founder. He also announced that the government will construct the memorial of Bal Thackeray.