NCP president Sharad Pawar Tuesday said the political developments following the Sena-BJP split forced the party to break the 15-year-old alliance with the Congress.
At an Idea Exchange programme at Loksatta office, Pawar explained: “Suddenly there was a situation where BJP and Shiv Sena were going to contest 288 seats each. And we felt if we contest in alliance with the Congress, several aspirants who were strong contenders, if denied ticket because of our limitations, would look for options with the BJP.” He added: “Unlike in the past, the new generation does not feel anything wrong with switching sides from secular parties to communal forces.”
Referring to the Sena-BJP developments on seat-sharing, he said: “If Bal Thackeray were alive, I would have just picked up the phone and asked what was the fate of the alliance. And he would have given me a straight answer without concealing any fact. So, I would have known exactly what was happening between Sena and BJP. But that comfort I no longer have with the current leaders in Sena or BJP. I feel it is because of the generation gap.”
Pawar also said he would not compromise on secularism. Asked if the NCP had kept the option of going with the BJP open, he said: “I feel the NCP would form an alliance with secular parties. But if such a situation arises when we cannot form the government, we will not mind sitting in the opposition.”
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