Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday lashed out at BJP legislator Ashish Shelar for his statement that a three party coalition government of the BJP, the Shiv Sena and the NCP was almost planned in 2017 but could not become reality after NCP’s objection to Shiv Sena’s presence in the tie up. ‘’Ashish Shelar should have revealed it in 2017. Why did he stop for five years?" asked a visibly annoyed Pawar while speaking to reporters after his weekly Janata Darbar at the party office.
‘’In 2017 several leaders were here and there. The statements made by those leaders were quite different (from what Shelar is now saying). No one is interested in what happened in 2017, 2012 or 2010. Let us see what is happening today, what are the important issues and what are the problems,’’ noted Pawar.
After Shiv Sena parted ways with its over 25 year old ally BJP, it formed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government with NCP and Congress in November 2019.
After Pawar’s statement, the state Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant took to twitter and released an earlier tweet by former chief Devendra Fadnavis who way back in September 2014 had said BJP will never have any alliance with NCP as BJP had exposed NCP in the state assembly when others were silent.
‘’By making such a statement (coalition of BJP, NCP and Shiv Sena) BJP legislator Ashish Shelar has criticised Fadnavis. Shelar is thereby telling the people not to believe the words of the party leader. BJP should take immediate action against Shelar otherwise it will prove that the state BJP president Chandrakant Patil has the same opinion,’’ said Sawant.
Meanwhile, former finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar claimed that ‘’It was our (BJP) mistake not to form an alliance with NCP excluding Shiv Sena. We are suffering for it.’’
‘’In 2014, NCP’s invisible hand was with BJP. However, BJP formed the government with Shiv Sena. Discussions were also held on forming a government with the NCP. But we did not want to leave Shiv Sena and form a government with NCP. So, what Ashish Shelar said is true. But it was our mistake not to form an alliance with the NCP and now we are paying the price for it,’’ he noted.