Written by Shubhangi Khapre
| Mumbai |
Published:September 13, 2017 4:23 am
Uddhav Thackeray (File)
Ruling out joining hands with the BJP, state NCP leaders on Tuesday said the Shiv Sena under the leadership of was a “confused” party. Referring to an article in Saamana, party leaders said the Sena was cooking up all kinds of stories about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Maintaining that they would never compromise on secularism, an NCP leader said, “The Shiv Sena, which is spreading all kinds of canards about the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NCP president Sharad Pawar meeting should first explain their own position in Maharashtra.”
The NCP found itself in a peculiar situation following Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s article in party mouthpiece Saamana that said, “Modi had offered a cabinet berth to NCP MP Supriya Sule. However, Sule turned down the offer.” Sule, however, denied that she had held any meeting with Modi. The developments have triggered a debate on Modi-Pawar equations.
NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “At our internal party meeting, Pawar saheb has clearly conveyed NCP’s ideological position. The NCP would never join hands with the BJP. The NCP has always maintained that its secular credentials would never be compromised.”
Commenting on Raut’s article, Malik said, “The Shiv Sena finds itself in a confused state. They cannot decide which way the party should go.” Citing several examples of Sena’s double standards, Malik said, “Sena, which is a coalition partner with the BJP in the state and the Centre, also plays the opposition role. Their double standards show the confused leadership of Uddhav Thackeray.” He said the Sena reckoned that if it were to distance itself from the BJP, the organisation would split vertically. The party leaders said there were several instances of Sena top leadership hobnobbing with the BJP one day and taking to streets against it on some issue or the other.
On Monday, when local Sena leaders were demonstrating on the issue of farm loan waiver, Aaditya Thackeray was sharing a dais with the CM, they said. A former NCP senior minister who did not wish to be named said, “Modi-Pawar relationship is not new. It dates back to Modi as the Gujarat chief minister. But that does not mean NCP is going to join the BJP.”
The NCP leader added, “Raut’s decision to make public a private conversation with Pawar is unethical. Moreover, we don’t even know the authenticity.” Stung by the NCP criticism, Raut told a TV channel, “It was not my intention to expose the Modi-Pawar meeting. I mentioned the private conversation in course of talking about politics.” However, in a dig at the NCP leadership, he said, “I believe Supriya Sule denied being offered a cabinet berth by Modi.”
Yet, if Sharad Pawar wished so, he could throw light on the meeting, he said. Raut said not everybody was bold like the late Bal Thackeray to state and accept facts. He said, “As Bal Thackeray and Sharad Pawar shared cordial relations, Modi maintains good relations with the Pawar family.”