In a first, NCP president Sharad Pawar has openly alleged that the BJP is still trying to destabilise the Maharashtra government. In an exclusive interview to CNN-News18 on Tuesday, he slammed the BJP and alleged that the party’s claims that it is not interested in bringing down the government are a lie.
In the hard-hitting interview, Pawar said the saffron party is unable to digest the fact that it is not in power in parts of the country and has therefore been trying hard to bring down democratically elected governments.
Referring to Operation Lotus, Pawar said, “Similar efforts are going on here as well. Devendra Fadnavis says we don’t want to disturb or destabilise this government in Maharashtra. But it is all humbug. All efforts are on from all levels – from the government of India to opposition parties – efforts are on to destabilise this State. But they did not succeed.”
Pawar also quipped that he had initially heard this government will last till May.
“Then I heard that the revised deadline was July, then September. Now I am hearing from you for the first time that it is October. It is good that they are extending this deadline,” he smiled.
When asked about the BJP’s sentiment in Maharashtra that they could not come to power because the NCP switched sides, he said, “I haven’t changed sides. People of Maharashtra were eager. The BJP state leadership has created a favourable atmosphere for us. That is why we have succeeded. Moreover, it isn’t correct that I was approached for government formation. We all meet in Parliament. Different parties have a dialogue. That does not mean that immediately we are leaving the party and forming something else. That is not correct.”
When asked about why the BJP was trying to bring down the state government, Pawar said, “Basically the BJP is not able to digest that they are without power. When they came to power and saw that the other government doesn’t belong to their ideology. But when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the PM, a BJP PM, they never did this. But today’s leadership cannot digest that any state, any part of India is not with their ideology.”
Several deadlines are being speculated in Maharashtra for the fall of the current three-party government. When asked about the murmurs, he said the government was internally stable.
“I am absolutely clear about one thing, there is no problem with the government. Ideologically, on certain issues, we are different. But we have come together for the larger good. In 1977, the Janata government was formed. What was it? Communists, Socialists, Jan Sangh – everyone came together. They managed. Here, three parties working on Minimum Common Programme. The government will continue. But what is opposition doing?” he asked.