NCP supremo Sharad Pawar today said all like-minded parties need to come together to check the growth of the BJP as evident by its performance in the recent assembly elections in the five states. Pawar stressed upon the need of an anti-BJP grand alliance fearing that the “mandir-masjid” politics may get a boost with Yogi Adityanath becoming the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. “Looking at the kind of support the BJP has garnered in the assembly elections, it is very clear that all like-minded parties need to come together (to face it),” said Pawar, who was here to inaugurate the NCP’s new office. “All the (non-BJP) parties need to introspect their shortcomings. To provide a strong alternative to the BJP, it is necessary that all the like-minded parties come together,” he told the reporters.
Asked if any talk has been started for forging an anti-BJP grand alliance, he said he wasn’t aware if it had been. “It is a suggestion. As of now, no detailed discussion has been held…. If the NCP gets a proposal to be a part of such an alliance, we will respond positively,” he said. On the hardliner BJP leader Yogi Adityanath becoming the UP chief minister, Pawar expressed fear that communal politics may take precedence in the northern state. “Being such a big state, UP needs a leadership with a clear foresight to execute the developmental agenda. However, I am now worried about the people of UP as the new leadership might pay more attention to the `mandir-masjid’ issues rather than bringing real development,” he said.
“We haven’t received any proposal from any party for alliance. Though our experience with Congress wasn’t pleasant last time, we are still open to alliance with it,” he said. Earlier, addressing the local NCP workers, Pawar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had failed to keep his elections promises. “People voted for BJP because Modi made tall promises before 2014 polls. Modi had promised to increase farmers’ income by 50 per cent. But after three years farmers’ income has only decreased. That is why large number of farmers have ended their lives during BJP rule,” he claimed. “Initially people thought demonetisation was a good decision. However, it only took away jobs. Around 52 per cent of workers in the small industries became jobless,” he said.