NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Thursday that representatives of minority communities had conveyed that they would not mind if his party joined hands with Shiv Sena, but the BJP must be kept away from power in Maharashtra.
“We were told on behalf of the minorities that if you want to take Shiv Sena along, you can do so, but keep the BJP away. The minorities welcomed that step,” Pawar said while addressing a gathering of the party’s minority cell. He also said that a majority of Muslims and minorities in the state did not vote for the BJP.
“I am happy that in the state elections, the minority and Muslims did not vote for the BJP, but voted for those who could defeat the BJP,” Pawar said.
He also claimed it was his party’s insistence that the minority welfare department should be allotted to the NCP in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government. Pawar also claimed that during his last visit to Pakistan he met several people who wanted to visit their relatives in India, but they were not allowed to come because they were Muslims.
“While working in the cricket field, I had been to Pakistan for a meeting. I met several people there then who have at least one relative in India. They want to meet their relatives. But they do not have permission just because they are Muslim,” Pawar said in a tweet in Marathi.
The former Union minister said this development in Maharashtra politics has shown a path to the country, and lauded the minority communities for taking the initiative.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines