AFTER Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray hinted at the possibility of withdrawal of support to Maharashtra government, NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Sunday said his party would not extend outside support to the BJP government like it did immediately after the state elections when the BJP had fallen short of the majority. “At that time, we were not in favour of immediate elections, therefore, we extended support to the BJP from outside,” Pawar said on Sunday, clearly indicating that the NCP was in favour of a mid-term election rather than a tie up with BJP.
Speaking to The Indian Express after addressing a meeting of party leaders and corporators in Pimpri-Chinchwad today, Pawar refused to get into the ongoing verbal duel between the Shiv Sena and the BJP but was at pain to explain that they would not like to repeat what they did after the elections. “After the elections, no party had a majority and parties were seeing eye to eye which threw up the possibility of another elections. To avoid another burden on the exchequer, we had extended support to the BJP from outside,” he said.
In an interview to Sena mouthpiece Saamna last week, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had said that till the Maharashtra government was found working in the interest of the people, the Sena would not withdraw support. The Sena chief also spoke about being hurt by the way he and his party was treated by the BJP during the government formation and after that. Sena leaders had interpreted his statements as highlighting the possibility that the Fadnavis government would not complete its term.
Pawar said the tussle between Sena and BJP is a matter between them. “I wouldn’t like to dabble into their affairs. But yes, I have read the Saamna interview and have understood the gist of what is going on between the two parties,” he said. When pressed for clarity, Pawar said,”NCP was a party which believed in the principles enunciated by Shahu-Phule-Ambedkar…therefore would not like to go with BJP.” He, however, added that in the event of such a thing happening — withdrawal of Sena support to government, the party leadership would take a decision.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines