I trust Sena, MVA will complete full term, says Sharad Pawar
NCP president Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra will complete its full term and praised ally Shiv Sena, saying it is party which one can trust.
Mumbai: NCP president Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra will complete its full term and praised ally Shiv Sena, saying it is party which one can trust.
The remarks came against the backdrop of the one-on-one meeting between Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and Pawar's meeting with BJP leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis last week.
Speaking on the 22nd foundation day of the NCP, Pawar also said the MVA (comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) will do well in the next Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, indicating the three parties may contest the 2024 polls together. He said doubts are being raised as to how long the state government will last. "The Shiv Sena is a party you can trust. (Sena founder) Balasaheb Thackeray honoured his commitment to Indira Gandhi," he said.
The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress came together to form government in Maharashtra following the Assembly polls in 2019, after the Uddhav Thackeray-led party had a fallout with the BJP over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post.
"We have formed a government comprising parties of different ideologies. We never thought we will one day form government with the Shiv Sena because we had never worked together. But, the experience is good as all the three parties are working well together during the COVID-19 pandemic," Pawar said.
The Sena moved quickly to play down the rumours, which have never really been far from the surface. "It was not for political reasons," party mouthpiece 'Saamna' said. Thackeray said: "We may not be politically together... doesn't mean our relationship has broken." The praise from Sena MP Sanjay Raut - who was among those most vocal in his criticism of the BJP during that fallout - was in response to speculation about the Prime Minister's hold on voters and talk that the RSS - the BJP's ideological mentor - may now want local leaders as party faces for State polls.
"I don't want to comment on this... I don't go by the media reports. There is no official statement about this... The BJP owes its success to Narendra Modi in the last seven years and currently he is the top leader of the country and his party," Raut said. The PM's image - has suffered setbacks in states, the most recent of which were in Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
PM Modi was a prominent face on the campaign trail in each of those three polls, but the BJP wound up with zero seats in Kerala, four in Tamil Nadu and 77 (of a target of 200) in Bengal.
The Bengal loss, in particular, has opened a can of worms, with local leaders and those lured from the Trinamool and rival parties voicing discontent over being sidelined by out-of-state faces.
And with the elections due in UP - a bellwether state ahead of the 2024 election - questions are being asked of so-far unquestioned campaign plans.
The acquisition of ex-Congress leader Jitin Prasada - an influential Brahmin face in UP - is an indication the party may be ready to reset and focus on local rather than out-of-state faces.