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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Sharad Pawar wanted to join the NDA, says Munde

Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times  Beed, April 08, 2014
First Published: 18:05 IST(8/4/2014) | Last Updated: 23:47 IST(8/4/2014)

Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde, who is locked in a deep tussle with the NCP in his constituency, Beed in Central Maharashtra on Tuesday alleged that Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar was keen on joining NDA and had sent feelers to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray earlier this year.

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He also slammed MNS for using BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi for garnering votes but stopped short of ruling out an alliance post elections.

"Pawar didn't approach me but he had sent a message to Uddhav, who discussed this with me. Both of us were not keen on his joining NDA," said Munde.

"I didn't probe him (Uddhav) about who gave him this message from Pawar or the details of such a proposal" he added.

He also claimed that 5 former legislators from Beed and nearly 33 local NCP leaders across the state were in touch with him, willing to switch allegiance to the BJP.

The OBC leader who has been on a whirlwind campaign tour in the state was in his home town, Parli, to host a rally of BJP president Rajnath Singh in Beed.

Munde also slammed the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) saying Raj Thackeray's party was incapable of garnering votes in its own right. "They are using Modi to get votes. Why should we depend on MNS, when we can get support straight for our alliance. It's a roundabout way," he said.

Munde also said that he didn't think MNS would do well in the polls but said decision on any future alliance or partnership with the party would depend on post election scenario.

Known to be close to BJP veteran leader LK Advani during the saffron regime, Munde went all out to endorse Modi.

"I have full confidence that he (Modi) will get clear majority. I haven't seen the crowd that he garners in the last 25 years," he said when asked if there was a plan B for BJP in case party failed to get requisite number of seats.

He said that such eventualities can be discussed only after poll results.

The BJP leader also admitted that the elections were polarised this time as after a long time (post Rajeev Gandhi) 2 national parties were being pitted in a straight contest against each other.


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