Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra will complete its full term and praised ally Shiv Sena.
Pawar’s remarks came days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
“There was a lot of speculation soon after the Chief Minister’s one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister in Delhi. As I said we have never worked with Shiv Sena before, but Maharashtra is watching the party for the last many years. Shiv Sena is a party that can be trusted even if people are raising doubts following the meeting. I have no doubt that the MVA government will not only complete its five-year term but will also perform well in the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections and represent the state and the country,” Pawar said.
Pawar recalled how late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray had once supported the Congress and did not contest a single seat in the state assembly elections.
“After Morarji Desai-led Janata Party came to power at the Centre, the Congress was facing defeat in all the states. At that time only one party came in support and that was Shiv Sena. Balasaheb Thackeray then promised not to field a single candidate in the state assembly elections in Maharashtra and fulfilled his promise. He didn’t even care about the impact of his decision on the organization and kept his word (to Indira Gandhi),” Pawar said.
He said the people of Maharashtra accepted the unusual alliance as no one would have thought of NCP joining hands with Shiv Sena. “We did that and fortunately people accepted the option. I remember senior journalists… guessing the number of days, the MVA government was going to last since day one, but all this has stopped now,” Pawar said.
He added they will have to resolve the issue of quotas for the Maratha community as well as for the Other Backward Class community.
Pawar said the NCP will have to ensure that power is shared with as many people as possible to avoid becoming corrupt. “Power if concentrated becomes corrupt and thus has to be shared with more people. We will have to ensure that Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Classes, and all the other communities are getting their share of power.”