Distancing itself from NCP president Sharad Pawar's prime ministerial ambitions, Shiv Sena that once backed him for the top post as 'Marathi manoos' on Monday said it was strange that he was still harbouring the wish when his party was contesting just 22 seats from Maharashtra.
In an editorial titled 'Delhi door hai' (Delhi is far away), in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', Sena chief Bal Thackeray claimed Pawar's posturing at an election rally in Pune made it clear that he was not going to back Congress prime ministerial candidate Manmohan Singh after the polls, implying that he (Pawar) was still in the race for the top job.
Referring to Pawar's statement on Saturday night that all UPA constituents would come together after the elections and elect a leader and stake claim to form a government, Thackeray said Pawar had shown "his true colours" now after concluding seat-sharing talks with Congress in Maharashtra.
"Till the time negotiations for seat sharing between Congress and NCP were on, Pawar's refrain was that it was unrealistic for him to aspire for Prime Ministership in view of the small stature of his party and number of MPs. Now, after sealing the pact, he has started opposing Manmohan Singh," the editorial said.