In an apparent bid to give pinpricks to major ally Congress, the NCP today announced that it will form a secular democratic front in poll-bound states like Kerala and Assam.
But the NCP tied itself up in knots when it said it will protest against the Union government of which its leader Sharad Pawar is a part.
"We would like to be with the Congress but Congress does not want us to be with them.... If Congress does not give us space, we will try to find our own space," NCP General
Secretary D P Tripathi told reporters here.
He said the NCP will forge an alliance of secular and democratic parties in various states, particularly in Kerala and Assam, where elections are due next year.
Tripathi said NCP is now a part of the Left Democratic Front in Kerala and will contest elections jointly next year.
NCP could also explore options in Andhra Pradesh where Jagan Mohan Reddy is going ahead with his Odarpu Yatra despite objection to it from the Congress high command.
Taking its bitterness with Congress to new lengths, Tripathi said the party will be part of the LDF protests in Kerala against price rise.
But when confronted with the fact that the Left protests are against Sharad Pawar's handling of the price issue, he sought to wriggle out saying "the protests are not against an individual but against the UPA government".
However, Congress sought to dismiss Tripathi's comments saying "we are a big party and a big alliance and we do not think there is any change in the situation. But who knows what
will happen in the future."
The Congress said there was nothing abnormal about some constituents of the UPA like NCP fighting against the Congress in some states outside Maharashtra.
"We are in alliance with the NCP at the national level as well as in Maharashtra. But NCP had put its candidates against us in Bihar. It is normal," Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.