Stating that Congress is his "main friend", union agriculture minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday said that he would prefer to align with it even after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Pawar's remarks comes in wake of chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's reported comment that NCP was Congress' main rival during his campaign speeches for the local bodies polls. "I will say Congress is our main friend," Pawar said.
Reacting to the chief minister's statement that Congress should work to form next government in the state on its own, Pawar took potshots at Chavan saying, "He has given us inspiration to expand our base too. But, I would welcome suggestions from those, who are directly elected from the people."
Chavan was a Rajya Sabha MP as a central minister and is an MLC now.
Responding to another statement of Chavan while campaigning that NCP was born out of personal ambitions, Pawar said, his party was made up of self-made people, who are elected by masses. "We don't have leaders who are deputed," he said.
Ticking off his nephew and state deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and home minister RR Patil for commenting against industries minister Narayan Rane, Pawar said, he expected his party men to exercise restrain while attacking the Congress leaders personally.
"I appeal to my party leaders not to get provoked since we are in the government at the Centre, Maharashtra and in neighbouring Goa as well. After such personal attacks, it takes time to restore normalcy in the relations," he added.