Mumbai: NCP chief says Sena will most likely react to Fadnavis’s continued attack on the Thackeray clan. Reiterating his decision to not ally with the BJP in the event of the Shiv Sena quitting the State government, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar said he is ready to give this “in writing”. He, however, said for this to happen, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray must write to the Governor withdrawing support to the Devendra Fadnavis government. “He must also make it [the letter] public,” Mr. Pawar said at a press conference on Saturday.
Expressing his support for the Sena, he said, “Devendra Fadnavis is making individual allegations against the Sena chief’s family at a time when he has no work of his own. If this continuous attack persists, the Sena will react for sure.” At the same time, Mr. Pawar responded to Mr. Thackeray’s suspicions that NCP may support BJP after all, saying he doesn’t need a certificate of trust from the Sena chief.
After refusing to enter into a pre-civic poll alliance with the BJP, Mr. Thackeray has said he will decide on continuing support to the BJP-led State government after the elections results are announced on February 23. Mr. Pawar claimed the Sena has kept an ‘escape route’ open by saying it will continue in the State government if farmers get loan waivers.
With barely two days to go before campaigning ends, the NCP chief trained his guns on the Chief Minister’s campaign posters. “BJP has seen leaders such as Vajpayee and Advani, but none of them were boastful with voters. In the past, those indulging in self-praise have bitten the dust. Here, we have someone who does not even know the entire State but is out giving his word to voters. This is a joke.”
Saying the Centre’s demonetisation policy had affected his party, Mr. Pawar questioned the BJP’s extensive advertising campaign for the civic polls. “How much of money is being spent on advertising? How did BJP’s money power increase manifold after coming to power? These are questions they will have to answer.”
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