'Why BJP took 5 years to see Pawar's experience?'

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Days after Sharad Pawar revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered him to work together, the Shiv Sena wondered why the BJP took five years to realise the NCP chief's "utility and experience".

An editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' on Wednesday sought to know what benefit the BJP was trying to seek from the NCP, which the saffron party leaders earlier called as the "Naturally Corrupt Party".

It also said that had the NCP won less than "55 seats" in the Maharashtra Assembly polls, the BJP would not have tried to make friendly overtures to Pawar's party.

All efforts of the BJP were only to restrict the Shiv Sena from coming to power. However, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray halted the BJP's plans to gain power, it said.

Thackeray took over as chief minister over a month after state Assembly poll results were declared on October 24.

The Marathi publication also warned the BJP that if its foot slips again, it will fall.

Pawar on Monday said Modi had proposed "working together", but he rejected the offer.

The NCP supremo said he made it clear to Modi that it won't be possible for him to work together with the PM.

Reacting to it, the Sena said, "We wonder why the BJP took five years to realise Pawar's utility and experience. Had the NCP won less than 55 seats in the Assembly polls, the BJP would not have tried to woo the party?

In the October 21 state polls, the BJP won 105 seats, the Shiv Sena 56, the NCP 54 and the Congress 44.

The Sena, which fought the elections in alliance with the BJP, however, later fell with its decades-old partner over the issue of sharing the chief minister's post.

The Marathi daily noted that Modi earlier called the NCP as "Naturally Corrupt Party" and before the Assembly polls, BJP president Amit Shah questioned Pawar's contribution towards the development of Maharashtra.

"If all that was true, then what kind of benefit was the BJP anticipating from NCP's experience?" the Sena asked.

After the Lok Sabha polls this year, the Enforcement Directorate initiated an inquiry into an alleged land deal between NCP leader Praful Patel and a terror suspect in Mumbai. An ED notice was sent to Pawar as well (before the Maharashtra Assembly polls), the Sena pointed out.

"It was the beginning of the BJP's corrupt practice to prepare a ground for government formation after the Assembly elections in Maharashtra. But, Pawar did not bow down to Delhi's pressure tactics," the Marathi daily said.

The ED in September filed a money laundering case against Pawar in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam.

"Like Pawar, industrialist Rahul Bajaj said in Amit Shah's presence that under the latter's regime, there is no freedom of speech and to live fearlessly," the Sena said.

All this happened in Maharashtra, as it has "more experience of living with courage than other states," it said. 

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