NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday expressed confidence that the new Maha Vikas Aghadi government would work well in the state. He also congratulated Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on being elected the chief minister-designate.
“Had Balsaheb Thackeray been alive today, he would have been happy,” Pawar said while recalling his relations with late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray.
“We had personal relations for many years. People like Balasaheb, me and George Fernandes criticised each other, but our personal relations were never impacted. There were instances where we criticised each other at rallies, but met in the evening for dinner,” Pawar said. He was addressing a meeting of legislators of all three parties — Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress — at a five-star hotel in Bandra Kurla Complex.
“Balasaheb was such a leader that he gave chances to the people from smaller communities in politics. Former Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire got an opportunity to work in the state legislature and parliament for past 30 years. The population of the community, to which Khaire belongs, is around 3,000 only. Only Balasaheb could give an opportunity to such people in politics. He had given opportunities many such Khaires,” Pawar said.
Khaire was elected consecutively for four terms in Lok Sabha representing Auragabad for 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. He was two-time member of the legislative Assembly from Aurangabad West in 1990 and 1995.
Interestingly, in an interview to NDTV in 1999, Balasaheb Thackeray had used the term “scoundrel” while rejecting the possibility of any alliance with Sharad Pawar. “Possibility in politics…what? If at all it is said that it is a game of scoundrels, it is for a man to decide whether he wants to remain a gentleman or a scoundrel. If anybody’s trying to become a scoundrel, then? But I will not go along with a scoundrel, whoever he may be,” Balasaheb had then said.
Balasaheb further went on to say that he would never align with Sharad Pawar’s NCP.
On Tuesday, the NCP chief also said that everyone in the state would feel that the Maha Vikas Aghadi -led government was truly representative of the people of the state.
“Even people from the lowest strata of society will feel that this is my government. It will also create trust in their minds that this government will protect their families interests,” Pawar added.