MUMBAI: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday exuded confidence that a "viable alternative government" will be formed at the Centre after the Lok Sabha election results are declared on May 23.
Addressing a press conference here, Pawar said, "I can't say whether the viable alternative government will come next day of the results or in a fortnight because it is the prerogative of the President of India to invite (parties) to form the next government. But, whoever is called, has to prove majority on the floor of the Lok Sabha."
Pawar recalled that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was formed after the 2004 Lok Sabha results and it was in power for ten years.
"After the results are declared on May 23, we will all sit together and discuss government formation. In Maharashtra, the Congress and NCP contested the Lok Sabha polls in an alliance. But, we deliberately avoided a national level alliance," Pawar said.
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for personally targeting political opponents, Pawar said, "The prime minister should speak with responsibility. I have contested and won 14 elections in my life."
Targeting state Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, Pawar said, "There is a minister in the state government who has never contested an election in his life. But, he is claiming the BJP will win Baramati Lok Sabha seat. When I was asked about the minister's claim, I merely said the situation is not so after having received ground level feedback. If the result is as per the minister's claims, then there would be room for people to doubt EVMs."
On the issue of MNS president Raj Thackeray being asked by the EC to submit expenditure details of his rallies in the state, Pawar said, "During the 1977 general elections after Emergency was lifted, noted personalities like P L Deshpande campaigned against the Congress by holding rallies."
"I don't remember the Election Commission seeking details of expenditure from him (Deshpande) regarding the public meetings. How can the Election Commission ask for expenditure details when the there is no (MNS) candidate in fray," Pawar questioned.
To a question about surgical strikes carried out by armed forces under the UPA, Pawar, a former Defence minister, said, "This (NDA) is the first government to exploit and misuse the defence forces for elections. This is unfortunate and regrettable."