Seizing on Shiv Sena’s decision to contest the civic polls solo, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar today said if that party still remains in the BJP-led government in Maharashtra that would only prove that it could do anything to cling to power.
“If Shiv Sena doesn’t quit the (state) government now, then the message it is conveying that it can do anything for power,” Pawar told reporters here on the sidelines of a programme.
Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam had last evening said that all Sena ministers, in both governments, should resign immediately as the “Yuti” (alliance) between Sena and BJP has been called off.
To a question if his party will join hands with BJP in the event of Sena pulling out of the ministry, Pawar said such a decision can only be taken after discussions between both the sides.
Pawar, a recipient of Padma Vibhushan this year, slammed Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam over his allegation that the NCP and BJP have a ‘secret pact’ in the state.
“Nirupam has not done anything significant for Maharashtra…What has he done for the state? What importance should be given to his statements. There is no such secret pact of NCP and BJP,” Pawar said.
Meanwhile, Nirupam told PTI in Mumbai that Pawar is a “big leader” and he did not wish to comment on his criticism.
He, however, said NCP’s political stand has always been suspicious.
“There is no guarantee which side NCP may go,” he charged.
“There was lot of pressure for an alliance (with NCP). Even AICC observer Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was in the city on January 25, had asked us to explore seat sharing pact for some seats at least. Accordingly, feelers were sent to NCP,” he said.
“NCP did not respond since by that time it was clear that Sena and BJP will fight the polls separately and Uddhav Thackeray announced that there will be no alliance on January 26. NCP wanted an alliance with us only if Sena-BJP had a poll understanding,” claimed Nirupam.