Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said on Monday the Congress had asked his party about jointly supporting the Shiv Sena in forming the government in Maharashtra.
Pawar said the option was not feasible and hence the NCP, which has offered unconditional support to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government, decided to support the BJP without compromising on its ideology.
HT Explains:BJP's win in Maharashtra a game changer
Pawar said the Congress had mooted the idea on Sunday (counting day) to form the government as none of the parties had a simple majority.
He said the two parties could have supported the Sena or have jointly formed a three-party government, but both the options were not feasible because the tally of seats won by the parties was just a seat above the magic figure. He added in such a scenario, the NCP opted for the third option to ensure that the state gets a stable government.
Pawar's party announced, soon after the results were announced, its unconditional and outside support to the BJP.
In the 288-seat assembly, the BJP proved to be single largest party with 122 seats followed by the Shiv Sena with 63 seats. The Congress and NCP have 42 and 41 seats in their kitty respectively.
"Our experience is that governments formed with the support of the Congress do not last for long. The tally of the seats of three parties could not have helped in running the government longer. In such a scenario, the possibility of re-election or the President's rule always prevails. Our decision (to support the BJP) was in the interest of the state without compromising on the fundamental ideology of the party," he said while addressing the newly elected legislators of his party at the party headquarters in Mumbai.
Former deputy chief minister and senior party leader Ajit Pawar later told the mediapersons that the proposal was made by a state level Congress leader. "Since it had not come from the party's top leadership and was not feasible we did not take it seriously," he said.
"The support offered is without any discussion with the BJP and does not seek any benefit from it. The theories that about our intention to politically protect our party leaders who have corruption cases against them have been created by the media. There is no substance in any of the allegations levelled against our party leaders," Ajit added.