NCP chief Sharad Pawar said Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray met him recently but did not indicate if his party would pull out of the BJP-led government amid a growing rift in the ruling BJP-Sena alliance.
Pawar told the state NCP’s two-day brainstorming session at Karjat in the neighbouring Raigad district which concluded on Tuesday, that Uddhav Thackeray and Sena MP Sanjay Raut met him in Mumbai last week.
“In our meeting, they did not look satisfied (with the BJP-led government in Maharashtra) but they did not say if they are going to pull out,” Pawar told reporters.
Pawar said it did not matter to his party even if the Sena pulled out of the government.
“Our stance is clear. We (NCP) aren’t going to help anyone in this process,” Pawar said.
Asked if the Sena were to offer a “helping hand” to NCP, the Maratha leader said, “We are not available to anyone for help.”
“If the time comes, we will have discussion with like-minded parties,” Pawar, whose party was in power in Maharashtra with the Congress for 15 years, said.
Pawar’s remarks came days after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accused the Sena of playing the role of the opposition despite being in the government in the state and at Centre.
Addressing party workers at the chintan baithak, Pawar alleged, “Authoritarianism on the rise at the Centre. There have been curbs on people’s basic rights and democratic values”.
The NCP chief also targeted the Fadnavis government over its advertisement campaign on farm loan waiver and other welfare schemes.
“In the last few days we saw advertisement saying ‘I am the beneficiary’ (of the government schemes). Now we should come out with an advertisement saying ‘we are insulted’ by the government which made public their (the cultivators’) debt position to the world through the advertisement,” Pawar said.
“Farmers are being insulted in the name of loan waiver,” the veteran politician said, claiming farmer suicides were on the rise.
The NCP leader said the agrarian economy was in danger as the government did not have a policy for agricultural produce.