Sena trustworthy ally: NCP chief dismisses doubts

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Sena trustworthy ally: NCP chief dismisses doubts

Mumbai: Days after chief minister Uddhav Thackeray held a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said he does not doubt that the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government will complete its five-year term. Not only this, but the three-party coalition will also perform well in the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. He also said that Shiv Sena is a trustworthy party and it has, in the past, kept its promise to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by helping Congress. The NCP supremo was addressing party workers and leaders on the eve of the 22nd foundation day of the party, at NCP headquarters, on Thursday. This was his first appearance at a public function after he was hospitalized in April for gall bladder surgery and treatment for a mouth ulcer.

NCP was launched on June 10, 1999, after a fallout with the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

“There was a lot of buzzes soon after the chief minister’s one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister in Delhi. As I said we have never worked with Shiv Sena in the past but Maharashtra has been watching the party for the past many years… Shiv Sena is a party that can be trusted even if people are raising doubts following the (PM-CM) meeting, I have no doubt that the MVA government will not only complete its tenure of five years but will also perform well in the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections and represent the state and the country,” Pawar said in his 20 minutes speech. To prove his point, the veteran leader shared an incident when late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray decided to support Congress and did not contest a single seat in the state Assembly elections.

“After Morarji Desai led Janata Party came to power at Centre, Congress was facing defeat in all the states. At that time, only one party came ahead in support and that was Shiv Sena. Balasaheb Thackeray promised not to field a single candidate in the state Assembly elections in Maharashtra then and also fulfilled his promise. He didn’t even care about the impact of his decision on the organization and kept his word (given to Indira Gandhi),” Pawar pointed out.