NCP president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday appeared caught between two contrasting views emerging within the party over providing unconditional support to the BJP government in Maharashtra.
The seasoned politician that he is, Pawar adopted a middle path arguing that he had never advocated snap polls. ” I have not said that we would like to destabilise the state government. Our decision to support the government on issues that are in the interest of people is a well known factor.” he said on Wednesday, a day after telling his party men to gear up for snap polls in the state.
Pawar’s flip flop on supporting the Devendra Fadnavis government has come as a major surprise to political leaders across party lines. Insiders in the NCP told Indian Express that Pawar was trying to address in-house voices and his thoughts accordingly reflected such voices. According to them, there is no ambiguity on the NCP’s decision not to dislodge the BJP government in Maharashtra.
At the end of the two day NCP conclave in Alibaug, Pawar said, that he never stated that his party wanted mid-term polls and that they wanted to destablise the government. He went on to explain that it was a fact that the NCP is in favour of a stable government in Maharashtra. But if the BJP Government lands in trouble for whatever reasons and after taking into account developments in state politics, the party should be ready to fight as an opposition party out on the streets.
However, a former NCP minister on condition of anonymity said,that some party leaders were not in favour of supporting the BJP government as NCP had always retained its secular credentials. ” Even if we argue our support was issue based and for state stability, it would certainly upset the minorities and secular sections amongst the majority. he said. At the party’s brainstorming session, a senior leader raised questions as to whether people in the state would take the NCP seriously as a serious opposition party by aligning with the BJP.
There were also others in the party who wondered how the party would combat the image problems of the NCP in the context of providing support to the BJP.
Pawar engaged party leaders over two days to seek their views on political developments in Maharashtra. The critical issue relates to consolidation of the party after the major defeat in the assembly elections in the state.
It was apparent that what weighed high on the mind of Pawar was the BJP government in the state and the performance of prime minister Narendra Modi- both of which was discussed at the session.
Pawar said that while they were all amused by the marketing tactics of prime minister Narendra Modi, there were lessons to be learnt on his effective use of social media in self promotion. Citing several instances, he said that there cannot be any ambiguity about the fact that
Modi knows how to market himself and his views effectively which is a well calculated and planned strategy. He said that a case in point is the marketing of Jjan Dhan Yogna. Now after an RTI was filed it came to light that a large number of accounts were opened in banks but there was zero bank balance. Yet, the Modi government gave an impression that huge amounts were deposited in banks.
Whether it was Modi’s UN visit or Australia visit, Pawar said that it was Modi’s ability to market his ideas and self. Pawar said that he never I never gave much thought to the social media. But now I understand its importance as it provides a platform to reach out to several crore people.