Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is Shiv Sena’s key ally in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, has strongly denied the claims made in a book that it had decided to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government in Maharashtra after the last assembly elections. The party has clarified that there was no such plan.
NCP spokesman and Minister of Minority Affairs Nawab Malik has denied the claim made in a book written by Priyam Gandhi about NCP chief Sharad Pawar that he had supported the BJP to form the government in the state. The obvious reference was the manner in which Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar joined hands with Devendra Fadnavis and both took the oath early morning on November 23 last year.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office and secrecy to Fadnavis as the Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar as the Deputy CM. However, their marriage failed.
The writer said that NCP had initially agreed to extend support to BJP in the government formation. However, the writer further added that NCP chief Sharad Pawar backtracked and, thereafter, Ajit Pawar, who was upset with his uncle’s decision, decided to go with Fadnavis.
Malik reiterated that there was no plan of NCP joining hands with BJP, which had won 105 seats but its ally Shiv Sena severed links.
Malik strongly criticised the observations made in the book by the writer and alleged that it was written at the behest of Fadnavis. “Party chief Sharad Pawar was since the beginning in favour of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to be the CM’s candidate of the Mha Vikas Aghadi partners,’’ he noted. “The book has been penned to improve Fadnavis’ image which was dented after that 80 hour government formation with Ajit Pawar,” claimed Malik.