“We welcome JD(U) to separate from BJP and join secular forces,” NCP leader D.P. Tripathi said, talking to reporters in Mumbai after a meeting of the state NCP, at which party supremo Sharad Pawar was present.
Asked whether he meant UPA or the ‘federal front’ by secular forces, Mr. Tripathi said, “Yes, UPA coalition…We are part of the UPA. We are not with any front. We are with UPA.”
Earlier, addressing the party workers, Mr. Pawar said the UPA government had made progress on a lot of fronts in the last nine years.
“There are lot of challenges. The truth be told, the main question is how the country is to be run. The Congress-led UPA government is in power for last nine years. We have made progress in many fields and raised the growth rate of the country,” Mr. Pawar said.
“However, in politics, if those who have the responsibility of governing the country don’t have enough numbers in Parliament, its repercussions are felt in governance. The world’s view of looking at us changes.
“Unfortunately, TMC and DMK, our two allies, went away. When there are discussions of elections being held anytime, the administrative machinery slows down as far as taking decisions and implementing them is concerned,” Mr. Pawar said.
Senior NCP leader Praful Patel said it was a misconception that NCP was opposing the food security bill.
“In no way is NCP opposed to the bill. On the contrary we welcome it. Pawar sahib says you bring in the bill, but also ensure that there is no injustice to farmers as far as remunerative prices for their produce are concerned,” Mr. Patel said.