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|October 9, 1999||
Naik against backing Congress
Nationalist Congress Party legislator and former Maharashtra chief minister Sudhakarrao Naik has said his party should not support the Congress in government formation in the state. He called upon his party to support the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance.
Talking to the media at Yavatmal on his way to Bombay last night, he said Congress president Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin was still an issue and the nation had decisively rejected her bid for prime ministership.
The NCP came into being on this issue and there was no point in shaking hands with the Congress just to capture power in the state, he added.
He criticised Congress general secretary Sushil Kumar Shinde for seeking an apology from NCP president Sharad Pawar for raking up Sonia's foreign origin as a pre-condition for an alliance between the two parties. On the contrary, the Congress should apologise to Pawar and the NCP, he remarked.
Naik, once a vehement critic of Pawar, had buried the hatchet and made a common cause with him in opposing Sonia's bid for prime ministership. He has been elected to the assembly from his traditional Pusad constituency in the recent assembly election.
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