BJP wanted alliance with NCP after 2019 Maharashtra polls, I said ‘No’ to PM Modi: Sharad Pawar

Pawar also said that the BJP might have considered a tie-up with NCP because relations between his party and the Congress were strained at the time.

NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule and Nawab Malik hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and asked him to exercise restraint while speaking about Sharad Pawar.
NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule and Nawab Malik hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and asked him to exercise restraint while speaking about Sharad Pawar.

NCP president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said that the BJP wanted to forge an alliance with this party after the 2019 Maharashtra elections but he was not in favour of that and told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that “it was not possible”.

“It is true that there was a discussion about an alliance between our two parties. The Prime Minister said we should think about it…However, I told him right in his office that it was not possible and I would not like to keep them in the dark,” Pawar said while speaking at the launch of Ashtavdhani, a coffee table book published by Loksatta, the Marathi newspaper from The Indian Express Group.

Recalling the events following the state elections, Pawar said he had made a “mischievous” statement that NCP was seriously considering support for BJP. “This probably sowed doubt in the mind of Shiv Sena, which stepped forward for an alliance with Congress and NCP,” he said.

Pawar also said that the BJP might have considered a tie-up with NCP because relations between his party and the Congress were strained at the time.

In the run-up to the 2019 elections in Maharashtra, the BJP and Shiv Sena had an alliance while the Congress and NCP fought together. The BJP eventually emerged as the single largest party, but could not form the government as its alliance with the Sena broke down over the Chief Minister’s post.

The BJP then tried to garner the support of a section of the NCP and even got Fadnavis sworn in as chief minister with Ajit Pawar as deputy but this arrangement barely lasted a few hours. Eventually, the Sena switched camps and formed the government with NCP and Congress.

Pawar said if he had sent his party colleague Ajit Pawar to join hands with the BJP to form a government in Maharashtra after Assembly polls in 2019, then he would have ensured the dispensation stayed in power.

Ajit Pawar had stunned political circles in the state by teaming up with Devendra Fadnavis in late 2019 to form a government, with the latter as CM, before it fell in a little over three days.

Pawar, when queried on this topic, said, “If I would have sent him (Ajit Pawar), then I would have made sure they would have (formed and ) continued the government.”

The NCP chief also said the MVA government under Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was doing well, adding that even as the latter was unwell for the past 10 days, there were other ministers with experience of administration.

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