The ripples created by the Congress’s decision not to have a pre-poll national level alliance saw the NCP declaring Manmohan Singh as the Congress candidate for Prime Minister post, not the UPA’s.
“If the UPA constituents had fought the elections together, Singh would have been the UPA’s joint prime ministerial candidate. Now he is only the Congress’s candidate and others are free to project their own nominees for the post,’’ said D.P. Tripathi, NCP spokesman on Tuesday.
“If the Congress chooses Singh as its leader after the Lok Sabha polls, other UPA allies will take a decision then.”
Tipathi needled the Congress further saying that if the UPA fails to hold its own, the NCP would explore the Third Front option. “We have taken the position that if the UPA does not get a majority, we should talk to the third front,’’ he added.
His remarks came even as NCP chief Sharad Pawar has often backed the UPA and Singh as PM.
Tripathi found it “unique and unhealthy’’ that the UPA was intact in government but disbanded electorally and alleged that the Congress had “objectively speaking weakened the UPA’’.
The NCP has a seat sharing arrangement with the Congress in Maharashra and Goa and the BJD in Orissa. On April 3, Pawar will address a rally with BJD’s Naveen Patnaik, CPM’s Prakash Karat and CPI’s A.B. Bardhan at Bhubaneswar.