Mumbai, Feb 16: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Thursday in an interview with ABP News said that if Shiv Sena withdraws support from Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra, NCP will not back Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the party is ready for a mid-term election. However, Pawar further stated that he doesn’t believe that Sena will withdraw its support from BJP and he added that Uddhav Thackeray in a speech on Wednesday said that his party will support the state government if it will waive off the loan of farmers. “This shows that Thackeray Saab (Uddhav Thackeray) does not want to leave the government,” he said.
Affected by demonetisation but ready for mid-term polls
On being asked that is his party ready for the mid-term polls if Sena withdraws support, Pawar said that “It’s true that apart from BJP, all parties are affected from demonetisation and if there is an election in the state it will be impossible for other political parties to do the election campaigns. Only BJP has the money for campaigning. However, even if there is any problem of money and other means, all parties must contest the election if it happens to remove BJP from power.”
Pawar further said that from working class to businessmen, everyone is against BJP and if mid-term polls happen in the state, NCP will be happy as a majority of the people are in favour of their party.
Relations with Narendra Modi
Answering the question of Pawar’s relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said that ‘We do not indulge in politics if there is anything related to national interest. However, I have opposed him wherever I feel that he is doing something wrong. For example, I opposed PM Modi’s statements on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.”
On BJP’s decision to award Padma Vibhushan
Answering the query of BJP’s timing to felicitate him with the Padma Vibhushan award, Sharad Pawar said that he would not like to comment anything on the issue and further said that ‘I didn’t ask them to award me Padma Vibhushan. When asked why I am being awarded, they (BJP) said that I am being awarded Padma Vibhushan for my 50 years of contribution to Indian politics as well as due to my performance as the Agricultural Minister.” (Also Read: NCP announces list of 177 candidates for BMC elections; View full list here)
Next President of the country?
Sharad Pawar denied that he has any chances or thoughts of becoming the next President of the country and he said that he is a very small leader and his party has only 12 members combined in both the houses. He said that he never thought of becoming the President and there are many better people who can the highest position in the country.
Despite the party failed to form an alliance with Congress for BMC elections, Congress and NCP have agreed of forming an alliance in the neighbouring Thane. For the 130 member Thane Municipal Corporations (TMC), an alliance between Congress and NCP was announced by senior Congress leader Narayan Rane and NCP leader Jeetendra Awhad. In TMC, NCP and Congress have 34 corporators each.
NCP will be contesting against parties like Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, Samajwadi Party and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).NCP is confident about forming its government in BMC all alone and it also indicated that the split between Shiv Sena and BJP will not affect its voters.
Maharashtra Civic Polls will be conducted on February 21 and the results will be announced on February 23.