Pawar steers clear, says NCP-Cong will sit in Oppn

 Nationalist Congress President (NCP) Sharad Pawar (PTI Photo)

Amidst political uncertainty, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar on Wednesday steered clear by ruling out any NCP-Congress support to Shiv Sena to form government in Maharashtra.

According to him,  the BJP-Sena has got the mandate in the 21 October polls and they should form the government.

"We don't want a Constitutional crisis in Maharashtra. Where is the question of Shiv Sena-NCP government? They  (Sena and BJP) have been together for the last 25 years and they will come back again," said Pawar,  a former minister in the Congress-led UPA government. 

Pawar's statement assumes significance in view of back-to-back meetings with Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray's key aide and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut. 

Pawar reiterated that the NCP and Congress have been entrusted to sit in Opposition and they would work as a "responsible opposition". "They should allow us (NCP and Congress) to fulfil the mandate that people have given," he said.

On being asked about the meeting of Congress President Sonia Gandhi's close aide Ahmed Patel with Union Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari,  he said: "It might be for some road work."

To a question,  Pawar also ruled out coming back as Chief Minister. "I am not ready,  there is no such proposal. I have been Chief Minister for four times,  I would not like to be Chief Minister," he said when asked about the possibility of an NCP-Sena government supported by Congress.

Asked about his meeting with Gandhi,  Pawar said: "The two parties (NCP and Congress) have contested the polls together. We want all decisions to be taken by consensus. We don't know what decision they have taken."

On Raut's claims that the Sena has a backing of 170 MLAs,  he said this number definitely does not include. Congress and NCP. "Even I want to know (from Raut) how he had arrived at that number."

Pawar,  however,  added that Congress and NCP do not have the numbers. "The Congress and NCP have not crossed the 100 marks...if we had the numbers, we would not have waited for anyone," he added.

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