Former Union minister and Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete has said NCP chief Sharad Pawar who had "backstabbed" Congress to form his party cannot be a "guru" for Shivsainiks.
He also said the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress is just an "adjustment".
Pawar is considered the architect and anchor of the MVA government which came to power after the 2019 Assembly elections following a fallout between Sena and BJP, who had shared power from 2014 to 2019.
Addressing a public rally in his home turf Raigad on Monday, Geete said, "Sharad Pawar cannot ever be our leader as this government (MVA) is mere an adjustment. Let people use as many accolades for Pawar but our 'guru' is only (late) Balasaheb Thackeray".
"As long as this government is functioning, it will go on...If we separate, our home is Shiv Sena and we will always stick with our party," Geete added.
Geete, a former MP from Raigad, also said he didn't harbour any "ill-intention" towards the Sena-headed government and wanted it to succeed.
"Pawar had formed his party by backstabbing Congress. If Congress and NCP cannot become one, the Shiv Sena also cannot toe the Congress policy entirely. Congress and NCP were not cordial always," the Sena leader said.
The NCP was formed on May 25, 1999, by Sharad Pawar, P. A. Sangma, and Tariq Anwar after they were expelled from the Indian National Congress (INC) for disputing the right of Italy-born Sonia Gandhi to lead the party.
The NCP later became part of the Congress-led UPA governments at the Centre in which Pawar served as Agriculture Minister. In Maharashtra also the Congress and NCP shared power till 2014 when the Aghadi government was defeated by the BJP.
Geete had served as Union Minister for Heavy Industries after the 2014 polls when the Sena was part of the National Democratic Alliance.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he lost to his NCP rival Sunil Tatkare by a thin margin. Tatkare's daughter Aditi is currently a minister of state in the MVA government.