NCP president Sharad Pawar who has offered an unconditional outside support to the BJP government in Maharashtra, said the reconciling posture between the ruling party and its estranged ally Shiv Sena is indicative of their reunion to form a ministry.
Maintaining that his party’s offer was to ensure “stability” in the state in view of the fractured mandate, Pawar told a press conference here that “They (BJP and Shiv Sena) seem to be working together. A minister of the Sena is expected to take oath at the Centre (in cabinet expansion tomorrow)”.
Asked if the Sena, which prided in Maharashtra’s “Asmita” during the late Bal Thackeray’s dispensation, was being humiliated by BJP on the issue of joining government, he said, “It was an internal matter of that party.”
Replying to questions, Pawar said NCP’s offer of support to BJP government in the state did not amount to supporting “RSS–BJP ideology”.
He refuted a suggestion that the decision to support BJP to form a government was a hasty one.
Referring to media reports about a meeting between some NCP and Shiv Sena leaders in Mumbai, Pawar said, “A couple of Sena leaders did meet but they did not have any proposal. We are not interested in any proposals.”
He denied that NCP’s support to BJP was a ploy to stop any possible probe into the allegations of corruption against its leaders.
Asked about his stand on the fresh political initiative by SP, RJD and JD (U) leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar to revive “Janata Parivar” to float a new party, Pawar said he had been away from Delhi for the last two months.
“I will meet them and think it over when I go there,” he added.
To a query on Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ proposal to appoint a CEO for Mumbai to coordinate among various agencies which has drawn flak from Shiv Sena, the NCP president said nature of the proposal was still unclear and he was not in a position to comment.
In reply to a question on the reported statement by senior BJP minster Eknath Khadse that people who voted for BJP in the Assembly elections expected a CM from “Bahujan Samaj” (a reference to Fadnavis who belongs to Brahmin community), Pawar said, “I do not want to comment on this but it shows discontent in that party.”