Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar has predicted that the BJP and the Shiv Sena may come together for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, but not for the Assembly polls in Maharashtra. Talking to reporters here Friday night, Pawar also ruled out the possibility of the two elections being held simultaneously, saying the “situation has changed”. The Centre has been toying with the idea of holding simultaneous elections for quite sometime now.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for “widespread” debate on holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies saying it would result in financial savings. “The BJP and the Shiv Sena may join hands for the Lok Sabha elections, but may not come together for the state Assembly polls,” Pawar said.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena, have been in a strained relationship despite sharing power at the Centre and the state. The Shiv Sena has already announced that it would go solo for the polls. The BJP, on the other hand, is eyeing to forge an alliance with the Sena for the upcoming elections.
Questioning the credibility of EVMs, the NCP supremo called for the use of ballot papers in the polls. He said the opposition parties may meet within 15 days to discuss the issue. Pawar reiterated his demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the alleged Rafale scam.
He recalled how the BJP, while in the opposition in the 1980s, had demanded a JPC to probe into the alleged Bofors scam. “That demand was fulfilled then,” he said adding, “Therefore, the demand for a JPC to probe into the Rafale issue cannot be ignored now.”