Veteran NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday asked his party members to establish a good rapport and working relations with the local Shiv Sena activists for continuation of alliance in future too. His message to the party workers was to avoid confrontation with local Shiv Sena activists but maintain cordial relations ahead of elections to 14,234 gram panchayats and other local and civic bodies slated for 2021 and 2022.
‘’We want to stay with Shiv Sena. After the Mahavikas Aghadi came into existence, there were clashes at the local level. But we want to align with Shiv Sena. Therefore, join hands with Shiv Sena at the local level,” Pawar in his diktat told party members. The occasion was interaction between NCP ministers and party candidates who had lost the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections held in 2019.
Pawar’s directive comes four days after newly-appointed president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee Bhai Jagtap gave a call for party contesting independently in the ensuing elections to the BMC slated for 2022. This is despite other leaders from the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government making a strong case for fighting BMC elections together to defeat BJP.
Further, Pawar’s diktat comes months after differences surfaced between NCP and Shiv Sena when five Sena Corporators from Parner in Ahmednagar had defected to NCP.