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Congress leadership was not keen on exploiting rift between Sena-BJP in 2014: Sharad Pawar

Had the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party contested the 2014 Assembly polls together, they would have retained power in Maharashtra, he wrote in the updated version of his autobiography.

Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 Mumbai Updated on: May 03, 2023 19:20 IST
NCP ex-chief Sharad Pawar
Image Source : PTI NCP ex-chief Sharad Pawar

NCP ex-chief Sharad Pawar claimed that the central leadership of the Congress was not keen on taking advantage of the growing distance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its then ally Shiv Sena ahead of the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly polls. In the latest revelation in his autobiography, the veteran leader has revealed that had the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party contested the 2014 Assembly polls together, they would have retained power in Maharashtra.

“Had Congress and the NCP contested the 2014 assembly elections jointly, we could have won the state. If the political differences between BJP and Shiv Sena had widened further, some possibilities would have opened up, but the central leadership of the Congress was not keen on reaping its benefit,” he said.

In 2014, the BJP broke off its decades-old alliance with the Shiv Sena and contested the Assembly polls on its own. The alliance between the NCP and Congress too ended.

Pawar, who quit the Congress in 1999 over Sonia Gandhi's Italian origin issue to form the NCP, also claimed that after the debacle in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress began to think that it would be helpful if the other parties which shared its ideology (like the NCP) grew weak.

Pawar, in the meanwhile, declared his unconditional support to the BJP for government formation. “After my statement extending support to the BJP for the sake of political stability, we were expecting the Sena to take some different stand. But it did not happen. At the same time, the BJP was trying to mend fences with the Sena," Pawar wrote. But a faction in the BJP did think that the party should not give much importance to the Shiv Sena and instead take steps to widen the BJP's base, he noted. All four parties had reached the conclusion in 2014 that they should contest the Assembly polls without entering into an alliance and assess their own strength, Pawar said.

With PTI inputs

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