Opposing a post-poll truck with union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar's NCP, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said he and some crucial NDA constituents and leaders in Maharashtra had opposed Pawar's entry into the BJP led alliance. "Pawar wanted to gatecrash into the NDA... but I, (senior BJP leader and fomer deputy chief minister) Gopinath Munde, (farmer leader) Raju Shetti and (Dalit leader) Ramdas Athavale opposed this tooth and nail. Hence, this dream of his was shattered before the elections," said Uddhav, in an interview with Rajya Sabha MP and Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut in the party organ Saamna on Monday. While Uddhav is the editor of the paper, Raut is its executive editor.
"This is typical of Sharad Pawar. What does he do every time? He tries to step on every stone so that if one stone slips away, he is on the second one and if the second stone gives way, there is a third," said Uddhav, while replying to a question about Pawar's praise for the BJP's prime ministerial nominee and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. He added that after the polls, the NDA would not need any outside support to set up the government and even if it was needed, it was not possible to take help from Pawar. Uddhav pointed out that Pawar was also facing the anger and anti-incumbency of the people against the present government and added that while he was not likely to get his candidates elected, taking the support of the NCP nominees who were elected was not possible as it would be like slighting the people. "Instead of taking support from Pawar, wont it be better to ally with the Congress? The Congress is a bigger party than Pawar.
This cannot be done. The people will ask us why we charged them up if we wanted to ally with these tainted ones," he added. "I will only say, meet the families of those farmers from Maharashtra who committed suicide and then put out the red carpet for Pawar," said Uddhav, when asked about some leaders from the NDA praising Pawar. Former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, who is contesting his first Lok Sabha election from Nagpur, had made comments about including Pawar in the BJP led NDA. Uddhav alleged that Malegaon blasts accused Col Shrikant Purohit had been tortured by the police to extract a "false confession" and also attacked the Congress and NCP for trying to shield Muslim extremists. He pointed to how NPC MLA from Mumbra, Jitendra Avhad, who is also the party's working president in Maharashtra, had abused policemen for conducting a combing operation in the Muslim-dominated area.