Sharad Pawar refuses to join Congress walkout

Sharad Pawar refuses to join Congress walkout

Sharad Pawar refuses to join Congress walkout

The Congress party’s plans to be aggressive against the Modi government in Parliament do not appear to have the support of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.

As Congress and other opposition parties staged a walkout in the Rajya Sabha expressing dissatisfaction over Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s reply to the discussion on inflation, Pawar and his partymen remained in their seats.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad had conveyed to the NCP supremo the Congress’ plans to walkout from the House after Jaitley’s reply. 

It is learnt that Pawar expressed his disapproval contending that a government should be given at least six to eight months to prove its mettle.

The Congress made light of the issue with AICC spokesman Anand Sharma blaming it on the party’s shortcomings in floor coordination.

“What you have said has not escaped our attention,” Sharma said when pointed out that Pawar remained in the House while the Congress and other opposition members staged a walkout.

“The Congress took a last minute decision to walkout. There could have been some communication gap,” NCP spokesperson D P Tripathi told Deccan Herald when asked to comment on the NCP not joining the walkout.

Pawar had sought clarification from Jaitley on the issue of sugarcane farmers and even expressed his dissatisfaction with the reply he had received.

Pawar’s action is seen as a signal to the Congress that he would not play second fiddle to the Grand Old Party. His stand could prove to be worrisome for the Congress which runs a coalition government in Maharashtra with the NCP as its junior partner.

In the recent Lok Sabha elections, the NCP won four seats in Maharashtra while the Congress could manage just two victories. Against this backdrop, the NCP has demanded a re-working of the seat sharing formula and staked claim to 50 per cent of the 288 assembly seats.

A large section of NCP leaders have also stepped up pressure on the Congress by expressing their desire to go alone in the Assembly elections scheduled for October.

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