National

Sharad Pawar open to exploring all options

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on November 01, 2019 Published on November 01, 2019

NCP chief Sharad Pawar   -  PTI

The NCP leader is also wary that Congress may not support the ‘communal’ Sena

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar may find himself at the centre of State politics if the BJP and Shiv Sena decide to part ways. Though Pawar had earlier announced that his party would occupy Opposition benches, NCP sources said that the Maratha strongman might explore all options to reenter the power corridors.

Away from hectic political developments, Sharad Pawar was in Nashik on Friday to meet farmers who have suffered losses due to unseasonal rains. NCP sources said that Pawar feels that even if the party decides to support the government led by Shiv Sena, Congress President Sonia Gandhi might not be interested in joining hands with the ‘communal’ party.

Pawar is closely watching the developments between the BJP and Shiv Sena and is said to have asked Congress leaders to hold talks with the party High Command.

The NCP and Shiv Sena cannot form government on their own without Congress’ support. Shiv Sena has won 56 seats and with the support of independent MLAs the party has taken up its tally to 63. NCP has won 54 seats and Congress 49. Together, these three parties can easily cross the magic figure of 145 required to prove the majority on the floor of the House.

Congress divided

The State Congress stands divided on supporting Sena. While former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the party might consider a proposal from Sena, senior leader and former Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told mediapersons that the Congress is a ‘secular’ party and there was no question of supporting Sena.

NCP insiders said that Sena has not presented any proposal to the NCP Chief. If NCP, Congress and Sena fail to provide an alternative to the BJP, the only option left is the NCP supporting the BJP. The BJP has won 105 seats on its own and it has claimed that about 15 MLAs want to support it. With NCP’s support, the BJP can form the government.

In 2014, the BJP won 122 seats and Shiv Sena started bargaining hard on cabinet berths to join the government.

That time Pawar unilaterally offered support to the BJP and Sena rushed to join the government. Pawar’s move in 2014 had helped the BJP to form the government and push Sena to play a second fiddle in the alliance.

However, political pundits say that if Pawar decides to repeat his stand, it would give a major setback to his political credibility.

Published on November 01, 2019
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