HomePoliticsSharad Pawar ‘non-committal’ on MVA fighting 2024 polls; ally Raut says MVA...

Sharad Pawar ‘non-committal’ on MVA fighting 2024 polls; ally Raut says MVA was NCP’s chief creation to defeat BJP

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Mumbai: Soon after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar had reportedly expressed his ‘uncertainty’ over the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) contesting polls together, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) UBT faction leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said that Pawar had a special role in the creation of the MVA and that it had been his objective for the three parties to come together and defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. 

NCP chief Sharad Pawar while speaking in Amravati Sunday evening, took a non-committal stance by stating it was not possible to say right now whether the three parties (the NCP, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Congress) would fight the 2024 polls together. Maharashtra will see both the general election as well as the state Assembly election next year.  

The NCP chief had remarked, “While there is presently an ‘Aghadi’ (alliance) and a wish between parties to work together, we still have to discuss seat-sharing and sort out other issues. We still have not done all this So, unless all that is done, how can one say whether we will fight together or not.” 

Sharad Pawar’s remarks come at a time when relations between the three MVA parties are particularly tense following the buzz swirling around senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar (Pawar’s nephew) possibly allying with the ruling Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-BJP dispensation with a section of NCP legislators. Throughout last week, speculation was rife about the BJP attempting to engineer a split within the NCP. 

“Tomorrow, if anyone attempts to break the party (NCP) then it is their strategy. If we have to take any stand, then we have to do it firmly,” said Sharad Pawar on Sunday, in a jibe aimed at the BJP and possibly his own nephew (Ajit Pawar). 

Meanwhile, reacting to Sharad Pawar’s statement on the alleged ‘uncertainty’ of MVA fighting future polls, Raut said he did not think that Pawar could have taken such a stance about the MVA. (regarding the uncertainty of the alliance) 

Raut, who is known for his close ties with the NCP, remarked “It has been Sharad Pawar’s wish right from the start that if all three (MVA) parties remain together, then we can defeat the BJP in 2024 and win by a big margin… We speak with him almost every day. I spoke to him today morning as well. From his talk, I do not think there is any uncertainty about the MVA alliance.” 

Arguing that the MVA was “extremely strong” at the moment, Raut further said that Pawar had “a special importance” in the forming of the MVA in 2019.  

He further added, “While Uddhav Thackeray and (Congressman) Rahul Gandhi, too, were instrumental in the creation of the MVA, Sharad Pawar’s importance in this alliance is something else and it will remain so. Many times, the media takes a different meaning from what he is actually saying. …At this moment, MVA is extremely strong.” 

Raut remarked that the very fact the three MVA parties were holding joint rallies (referring to the Vajramooth rallies) together showed that they stood united against the BJP. “Why are we holding joint rallies? It is to show that we are together…the Mumbai rally is slated for May 1 (Maharashtra Day) will break previous records. Senior leadership of all three parties will be present,” he added. 

The Sena (UBT) MP, considered as Uddhav Thackeray’s close confidante, further claimed that “movements had begun behind the scenes in New Delhi” to replace Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde. “The BJP’s alliance with Eknath Shinde’s Sena faction is hurting the party’s popularity in the state. So, changes are certain in the next few days,” claimed Raut. 

Looking to drive a wedge between the MVA partners, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, on his part, merely said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar was a big leader whose words ought to be “carefully considered.” 

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Nana Patole, meanwhile, said that while he did not know what was in NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s mind, his party’s stance was clear – to take with it all those opposed to the BJP.


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