Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Tuesday said NCP President Sharad Pawar was "prime ministerial material" but the company of Congress had "tainted" his image.
"Pawar who left Congress on the issue of Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin went back to Congress-led United Progressive Alliance for a ministerial berth. I feel a man like him who has mettle and qualities is being wasted there," Thackeray said today in an interview carried by Sena mounthpiece Saamna.
The Sena chief said he wanted a "Marathi" to become the country's Prime Minister but the person at the helm should have a free hand to govern and should not survive on the patronage of Sonia Gandhi.
In response to a question about his recent meeting with Pawar, which had caused a flutter in political circles and raised eyebrows in the camp of Sena's saffron ally BJP, Thackeray came out with a cryptic comment saying "at present both of them seemed to vibe well with each other."
"But when will this free flowing water (of current interaction) be chocked because of dirty politics cannot be said," he added.