NCP supremo and Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Pawar on Wednesday ridiculed the possibility of its ally Shiv Sena forming the government on its own in the near future. This came after Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray addressed the district chiefs of Shiv Sena on Tuesday wherein he reportedly exhorted them to strive to bring the party to power on its own strength. In a veiled dig at Thackeray, Pawar told reporters that he had been hearing the same speech about Sena winning the Assembly election on its own for the last 30 years.
Historically, Shiv Sena has always fallen short of the majority mark and has been able to form the government in Maharashtra only in an alliance with other parties. At the same time, Pawar maintained that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with Thackeray's comments. According to him, this was a method to boost the morale of party workers.
NCP president Sharad Pawar remarked, "The leader of any party always says that. There is nothing wrong with that. I am hearing the ‘Unfurl the saffron flag’ speech for the last 30 years." He added, "Even we say that we will win on our own. That does not mean that we have left Congress. Even Congress says the same. This is a way to energise your own party’s cadres. There is no need to draw any other meaning to this."
"Jayant Patil is the president of my party in the state. Balasaheb Thorat is the president of Congress and Shiv Sena is led by Uddhav Thackeray. We will sit together and take an appropriate decision. I want to appeal to my party workers that we want stability in the state," Pawar said on the possibility of the Maha Vikas Aghadi contesting the local self-government institutions together.
Despite winning a comfortable majority of its own, NDA could not form the government in 2019 over Shiv Sena's demand for the rotational CM post. After the imposition of the President's Rule in the state, BJP took a surprising step of joining hands with NCP's Ajit Pawar, who had reportedly promised the support of other legislators. However, the new Fadnavis-led government had to resign ahead of the SC-mandated floor test owing to the paucity of numbers.
Subsequently, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray took oath as the CM of Maharashtra backed by new allies NCP and Congress on November 28, 2019. Recently, a meeting between Sena MP Sanjay Raut and Fadnavis set the rumour mills buzzing. However, both leaders insisted that their interaction which lasted for at least 2 hours was focused only on the modalities for the Saamana interview.
In his address to the Maharashtra BJP Executive meeting on October 8, BJP president JP Nadda predicted that Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will be permanently relegated to the opposition in the near future. Lauding the leadership of former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Nadda contended that there was total confusion in the functioning of the Uddhav Thackeray-led government. Nadda maintained that the mandate of the people was with BJP, which could win a majority on its own.