MUMBAI: Amid speculations of Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena coming together to form a government in the State, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party ((BJP) and Sena should respect the people’s mandate and form a government soon in the State.
Addressing a press conference here after meeting senior Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, Pawar ruled out joining the Uddhav Thackeray-led party in government with the outside support of the Congress, an idea making rounds in political circles for the last few days.
“Where is the question (of a non-BJP government)?” he asked, saying the BJP and the Shiv Sena have been in alliance for 25 years, and they will come together sooner or later.” Noting that the BJP and Shiv Sena have got the mandate to rule, he said, “They should form the government at the earliest and not allow the state to slip into a constitutional crisis. They should allow us to fulfil the mandate assigned to us by people (to sit in opposition).”
“The BJP and Shiv Sena had an alliance for over 25 years. They should take immediate steps to give the State a new government. The political condition of State is getting worse and the saffron alliance have to take a decision,” he said.
“NCP and Congress do not have enough numbers, hence, we can’t form the government. Otherwise, we would’ve never waited for long,” he said.
When asked about the Shiv Sena’s claim that they have numbers of 175 MLAs, Pawar replied, “We also want to see the numbers which Shiv Sena is claiming.”
He further appealed to the people that do not get excited after the Supreme Court verdict over Ayodhya issue. “No one should take the law in their hands and accept the court’s decision,” he said.
On his discussion with Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday over the issue of supporting the Shiv Sena, he said, “The Congress and NCP fought the election in the alliance. We want all decisions about the political situation to be taken by consensus. I am not aware of what is the decision of the Congress?”
The Maratha strongman also dismissed speculation that he may return as the state’s chief minister.
Asked about senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s meeting with Union Transport Minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on Wednesday, Pawar declined to attach any political significance to it, saying,
“It must be about some road work.”
A journalist asked Pawar whether the results of the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly poll have changed the perception that BJP Chief Amit Shah ensures the formation of government in a state whether or not the party has a majority.
Responding, the NCP chief said, “If he is an expert, then like you (the media), we are also waiting to see the skills of the expert.”
Meanwhile, responding to Pawar’s statement asking the BJP and Shiv Sena to form government at the earliest, Raut said, “He is right.”