Even as Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar reiterated his support to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday, he refused to make a five-year commitment for the full term of the Assembly and clarified the backing would be issue-based.
Without giving away whether his party would vote in favour of the BJP government or abstain from voting, he said, “This decision will be taken by our MLAs on the day of the trust vote.”
The decision to back the BJP was only to ensure a stable government in the state, Pawar told mediapersons. However, his party would continue to oppose the BJP over ideological differences, he said.
“It is true the BJP has never asked for our support, but it is the right of our MLAs to decide whom they wish to vote for. Our decision is in the interest of the state. If the Sena joins the government, we have no objection, but talks between the Sena and BJP have failed. We don’t want the government to collapse, leading to mid-term polls,” said Pawar.
He also clarified the move was not aimed at seeking political immunity for the alleged corruption cases against NCP leaders. Pawar said the leaders facing allegations of corruption were ready to face any inquiry against them.
On whether the NCP views BJP as a communal party, Pawar said he would like to first observe the party’s governance. “I agree I had earlier criticised the BJP for promoting saffron terror, but this government should be given some time to perform,” he said.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had slammed Pawar on Sunday, for his ‘saffron’ remarks.