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Sena to stay out if NDA takes Pawar's help: Thackeray

Shiv Sena said that his party would distance itself from NDA if the BJP-led alliance decided to take help of NCP to form the new Govt.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 26, 2004 08:45 PM IST

Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray said on Monday that his party would distance itself from the NDA if the BJP-led alliance decided to take help of NCP president Sharad Pawar to form new government.

"Although the idea (to take Pawar's help) is a distant thing, we will prefer to sit outside the `seat of power' in that eventuality", Thackeray told newspersons after casting vote at a municipal school near his residence in suburban Bandra.

Thackeray, who was banned from exercising his right to franchise for six years, for seeking vote in the name of religion, cast his vote after a gap of over eight years as the disqualification ended in 2001.

Commenting on his recent statement that he `may or may not' support NDA in case it takes Pawar's support to form a government, Thackeray said "I have abused that man (Pawar) so many times in public in the last and present election, that I find it improper to sit with him (in government)".

He, however, quickly clarified that he has deep respect for Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Commenting on prospects of Shiv Sena in parliamentary polls, the Sena chief, in a lighter vein, said the polls were like a Derby. "We are gambling and if we win its ok. But we are gambling for the good of the nation and we will have to play it", Thackeray said.

On the results of exit polls, the Sena chief said such results cannot be relied upon. The exit polls in the last assembly elections in three states predicted a landslide victory for Congress, but it never came true.

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