Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule on Monday said the Congress was her party’s natural ally and no matter what the perception about him was, NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s heart is with his former party.
“There is a perception because there have been actions..Mr Pawar recently was awarded Padma Vibhushan.. Earlier the PM came to Pune, shared the dais with Mr Pawar and said he had been handheld by Mr Pawar in his early days in politics. These are personal relations that sometimes come at a political cost. But despite that, our first choice for an ally will be the Congress because we have naturally worked together,” said Sule, in a free-wheeling chat in the Hindustan Times newsroom ahead of the Mumbai civic polls.
“However badly Congress treats Mr Pawar, his heart is with the Congress. He has had challenges with the Congress, but deep within he is with the Congress,” she said. She also said personally she felt more at home with the Congress’ modern liberal thinking.
She said everywhere other than Mumbai, the NCP was holding talks with the Congress for an alliance in other local bodies. And even in Mumbai, she clarified the NCP was willing, but had got no offer from the Congress.
“At the end of the day, we are professionals and don’t want to romance like others. So, no love etc between us..!”
Asked if the party would have a similar opinion on an alliance with the Congress in the 2019 elections, she said: “Our first choice will be the Congress because we have naturally worked together.”
When asked whether she was ruling out an alliance with the BJP, the NCP MP said: “Hypothetically speaking...It is like asking if Aamir Khan’s next movie would be a hit.”
She admitted the NCP was not strong in Mumbai and not enough attention was given to the party organisation here.
“In Mumbai, I really think we haven’t worked too much because we got so much support from elsewhere, success was probably a little easier so we didn’t focus enough. I think we are changing now.”
Sule also criticised the BJP for blaming the Sena for corruption in the Mumbai civic body. “They were partners in crime. Why doesn’t the BJP talk about corruption in the BMC in the last 22 years? How can BJP be clean and all the corruption be linked only to the Sena?” she said.