NCP leaders termed the reports pertaining to party president Sharad Pawar being allotted a ministerial berth in NDA government as baseless. According to them, NCP right now doesn’t have any plans to join the Modi government. They added that NCP is a party that follows secular ideology and the party can’t deviate from it. As far as decision pertaining to joining the government Sharad Pawar only can take a final call which at this point of time looks a distant possibility said NCP leaders. Modi government is planning to reshuffle the cabinet and JD (U) is likely to be offered a cabinet berth.
When AV spoke to Fauzia Khan, NCP leader and former Minister of State for School Education she said, “Sharad Pawar won’t take such a decision. He follows secular ideology and there is no question of him joining BJP. One should not believe in this report as it is not authentic.”
Sunil Tatkare NCP Maharashtra president and MLA said, “All these are rumours baseless and you should take it with a pinch of salt. We have faith in our leaders.”
Deven Patil former rural development minister and NCP MLA said, “This report lacks credibility and one should not believe in it. If the report is true then why our leaders are making statements against Prime Minister Narendra Modi? We won’t lend support to NDA. If this is the case then Pawar would have held a meeting to make his stand clear. Our party president won’t take such a decision.”
Nawab Malik, NCP spokesperson said, “All these rumours are baseless and there is no truth in it. I won’t make further comments about this issue.”
A prominent NCP leader on the condition of anonymity said, “Modi has gone beserk. Some section of media is predicting their political fantasies. Pawar is a senior political leader and NCP won’t join Modi’s cabinet. Wait for sometime the rumour will settle its dust.”
The Modi government is likely to promote five ministers of states (MoS) – Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Jitendra Singh. Prime Minister Modi had undertaken a first cabinet expansion in November 2014 as 21 new faces were inducted 21 including Manohar Parrikar as defence minister. In July last year, Modi undertook another reshuffle in which he appointed Prakash Javadekar as the human resource development minister, replacing Smriti Irani, who was shifted to textiles. Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) is likely to be rewarded for joining the NDA.