Mumbai: A day after BJP took the initiative to reopen talks with Shiv Sena for partnership in government to bring stability to the government, NCP president Sharad Pawar predicted the possibility of mid-term elections in Maharashtra.
At a two day NCP conclave which began on Tuesday at Alibaug, Pawar told party workers, “We should get ready for mid-term elections in Maharashtra.”
Adopting an aggressive posture against BJP he said, “The stability of the Maharashtra government is not NCP’s responsibility.”
Pawar also expressed serious concerns about the party’s political decline in assembly elections and indicated that the road ahead was challenging.
During the closed door meeting, sources citing the NCP leader said, “The NCP chief indicated that BJP’s 121 MLAs will have to depend on alliance partners and is unlikely to complete its full term giving its estranged equations with Shiv Sena one one hand and uncertainty about taking support of NCP on the other hand.”
Pawar’s address to the party workers is a clear departure from his earlier stated position when he suo moto declared unconditional support to the BJP government in Maharashtra. Since October 15, election results Pawar had always maintained NCP would support the BJP government to ensure stability in larger interest of the people of Maharashtra.
The BJP (121) and Sena (63) would take the tally to 184. The half-way mark is 144 in Maharashtra state assembly which has 288 seats. The NCP (41) reckons it would be redundant if Sena joins BJP. The Congress (42) has taken the decision to play opposition role in state.
The NCP’s flip flop is attributed to a political ploy undertaken by Pawar to reassert the significance of his organisation in state politics. A former cabinet minister (NCP) who is part of the core group revealed to Indian Express, “Pawar’s master stroke at the conclave was to diffuse the growing unrest within the organisation for
giving unconditional support to the BJP. Also, it comes at a time when Pawar reckons that there are strong possibilities of Sena giving its nod to join the BJP lead government in Maharashtra.”
In wake of the new developments within the saffron alliance partners, Pawar wants to retain the opposition space of NCP intact instead of giving it to Congress. Pawar also realises that Sena-BJP alliance would spell fresh trouble as government would spare no means to take the alleged corruption cases against some of their ministers to logical
end. Unfazed by NCP’s flip flop the BJP has decided not to panic. And BJP leaders did not take support from NCP during vote trust in state assembly on November 12.
The chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “The people of Maharashtra has voted my government for five years. The government is stable. We are confident of completing our full tenure fulfilling the aspirations of the people across Maharashtra.”
Interestingly, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray also chided Pawar saying, “Sharad Pawar says one thing and does another. He never walks the talk.”
The Sena (MP) Sanjay Raut added, “The Shiv Sena can give a stable government.”
Although NCP workers were amused with Pawar’s change of heart towards BJP, many wondered if the hard talk was to isolate the BJP which has only 121 MLAs on one hand, and instill hopes within the continued…