The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) national president chief Sharad Pawar said on Monday that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not need his party's support to form a government in the Maharashtra assembly.
Pawar said the BJP had already obtained support of smaller parties and independents taking its tally to 132 and in such a case the party does not need NCP's support on the floor of house.
He denied that he said NCP will abstain from voting to support the BJP.
"I never said that we will abstain from voting if the BJP is asked to prove the majority. I have maintained that even if we decide to abstain from the voting, it does not hamper the prospect of BJP's intention of forming the government," he told HT.
"Even if the Congress and Shiv Sena decide to come together - which is unlikely as Congress would never go with the Sena- the tally just crosses the mark of 100 against BJP's tally of 122. Even if Congress and NCP decide to come together and vote against BJP, our strength is just 83 and in such a situation BJP needs no support of any of the other major three parties," he added.
"One may say that abstaining from the vote is like supporting the BJP, but we have not yet decided whether to abstain from the voting. Our idea behind it is clear that Maharashtra needs a stable government and we will stand for it," he said.
Pawar further said, "The BJP will have to prove the majority on the floor of the house in 15 days after their claim to form the government. In today's situation it does not need our support to form the government."
When asked about the negative reaction among voters over the NCP's decision of unilateral support to the BJP, Pawar said, "I am not aware if there was any discontent among voters over our decision. But what would voters want in the given situation? Would they prefer re-polls and president rule in case of failure of any party in forming the government? Our stand was in the interest of the state as Maharashtra cannot afford to hold another election immediately."
Pawar also rubbished the claims that the NCP supported BJP to gain political protection to the cases pending against party's senior leaders.