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NCP president Sharad Pawar has said that his offer to support the BJP from outside in 2014 to form the government in Maharashtra was a "political move" aimed at keeping the Shiv Sena away from its then ally. Pawar admitted that he took "steps to increase the distance between BJP and Shiv Sena".
The BJP and the Shiv Sena, longtime allies, parted ways after last year's state assembly elections on the issue of sharing the chief minister's post. Pawar said that after last year's assembly elections, BJP leaders had approached him to support the Devendra Fadnavis government in the state, but told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the NCP would not go with the BJP and if possible it would Will form government with Shiv Sena or sit in opposition.
Pawar, who along with the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, played a key role in the formation of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), said in an interview in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', "The BJP is not convinced that non-BJP parties are It is right to work in a democratic system. "
The final part of the three-part interview series was published in the Marathi daily newspaper on Monday. For the first time, a non-Shiv Sena leader has been featured in the publication's Marathon Interview Series.
Pawar said, "I made a deliberate statement (after the 2014 assembly elections) because I did not want the Shiv Sena and the BJP to come together." When I realized that there was a possibility of alliance after the election, I made a statement in which I declared that we are ready to support the BJP government from outside. ”
He said, "But he did not work. The Shiv Sena joined the government and the coalition government completed its term. " The veteran leader said that he believed that it was not in the interest of the Shiv Sena and other parties to let the BJP come to power in Maharashtra.
He said, "The BJP was in power at the Center (in 2014) and if it becomes the ruling party in Maharashtra it will be a loss for the Shiv Sena. The BJP does not believe that any non-BJP party has the right to work in a democratic system. I knew that all other parties were in danger. The statement from outside was a political move. " Pawar said, "I believe that I have taken steps to increase the distance between BJP and Shiv Sena."
Pawar denied former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's claim that he (Pawar) was in talks with the BJP to form the government last year and later took a "U-turn".
He said, "Some BJP leaders had talked to me and my colleagues to form the government and said that they do not want to join Shiv Sena. He said that since I have a good relationship with the Prime Minister, he should intervene and give me his consent. ”
Pawar said, "So, to avoid any confusion or concept about me and my party, I met him in the Prime Minister's Room in Parliament House and told him that NCP cannot go with BJP." If possible, we will form a government with Shiv Sena or sit in opposition. ''
Taking a dig at Pawar's statement about Fadnavis talking to senior BJP leaders to form a government in Maharashtra, the NCP leader said, "Where was he?" I do not think he has any place in the decision making process at the national level. ”
Pawar said that Fadnavis had become a well-known face after becoming the chief minister while he was only an active legislator for the opposition and "his opinion is not taken in the BJP's decision-making process in the state and at the national level." He said that Fadnavis has not yet been able to accept that he could not form the government again (last year).
The former chief minister said, "Power is not permanent. Whatever responsibility is given by the people, we should accept it. When I lost the post of Chief Minister in the year 1980, I became the Leader of the Opposition. I liked that role more. " He said, "What do we see today?" A former chief minister says that it is difficult for him to accept that he is not in power. This is not good for him. They must accept the truth. "
Regarding 'Operation Kamal', Pawar said, "Operation Kamal was an abuse of power by the BJP. This was to weaken and destabilize elected governments by misusing power at the center. " He said that 'Operation Kamal' will not work in Maharashtra and the Thackeray government will complete its term.
Pawar also said that opposition parties have the ability to provide options at the national level (at the center), "but due to the Kovid-19 global epidemic, the process has stalled. Once the crisis ends, the political commotion will pick up. Regarding the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government, he said that there is no problem in governance, there is simply lack of communication between the allies.
Asking Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi to vacate the allotted bungalow in Delhi by the Center, Pawar said, "I don't think it is civilized behavior." Power should be used with humility. Such things happen when the head of power speaks up.
He said, "Priyanka is the daughter of former Prime Minister (Rajiv Gandhi) who was murdered. It is not prudent to use power to disturb political rivalries. "