NAGPUR, Maharashtra: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has dispelled all speculations about a rift within the three-party Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra, saying that the government will complete its full five-year term in office.
However, the veteran leader asked Thackeray to have more dialogue with his allies.
This was the first time Saamana has interviewed someone outside the Thackeray family, an attempt to send a signal to those questioning the working of the coalition government led by Thackeray. There have been many news reports in recent days pointing at a lack of coordination between the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, the members of the Maha Vikas Aghadi.
“I have no doubt that the Thackeray government will complete its full five years and if we take proper care, we will also fight the next elections together,” Pawar told Raut, when asked about the fate of the Thackeray government.
The NCP supremo is considered the architect of the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra, which came to power last year after dramatic events that spanned weeks.
When asked about media reports about differences between him and the chief minister over the lockdown imposed to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, the NCP chief denied this, saying that if Thackeray had not taken a tough stand, “we would have witnessed a situation like New York here”.
Pawar also responded to former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis’s allegations that the NCP supremo was involved in discussions with the BJP for government formation in Maharashtra before and after the 2019 assembly elections.
“I don’t know what his (Fadnavis) role was in the decision-making process of the BJP before becoming the CM. Before that, he was only an active MLA in opposition. But I don’t think he had the stature to take decisions by sitting with national leaders (of...