Pawar dismisses suspicions over stability of MVA government
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said he has no doubt that the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government will complete its five-year term and will perform well in the next elections. He called Shiv Sena a trustworthy party.
The comments of Pawar, who was addressing NCP workers on the eve of the party’s 22nd foundation day, came days after chief minister Uddhav Thackeray held a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
“There was a lot of speculation soon after the chief minister’s one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister in Delhi. As I said we have never worked with Shiv Sena in the past, but Maharashtra has been watching the party for the past many years… Shiv Sena is a party that can be trusted even if people are raising doubts following the meeting. I have no doubt that the MVA government will not only complete its tenure of five years but will also perform well in the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections and represent the state and the country,” Pawar said as he made his first appearance at a public function after he was hospitalised in April for gall bladder surgery and treatment for mouth ulcer.
Pawar recalled how late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray once supported Congress and did not contest a single seat in the state assembly elections. “After Morarji Desai led Janata Party came to power at the Centre, Congress was facing defeat in all the states. At that time, only one party came in support and that was Shiv Sena. Balasaheb Thackeray promised not to field a single candidate in the state assembly elections in Maharashtra then and also fulfilled his promise. He did not even care about the impact of his decision on the organisation and kept his word (to Indira Gandhi),” Pawar said.
He said the people of Maharashtra accepted the unusual coalition as no one would have thought about NCP joining hands with Shiv Sena. “We did that and fortunately people accepted the alternative. I remember senior journalists... guessing the number of days, the MVA government was going to last since day one, but all this has stopped now,” Pawar said.
He added they will have to resolve the issue of quotas for the Maratha community as well as for the Other Backward Class community. Pawar added the NCP will have to ensure the power will be shared with more people to prevent it from getting corrupted. “Power gets corrupted if it is concentrated and thus should be shared with more people. We will have to ensure that Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Classes, and all the other communities are getting their share of power.”