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Pawar almost joined NDA: Mahajan

May 13, 2004 20:46 IST

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar had almost joined the National Democratic Alliance but opted out because of a last minute disagreement over the sharing of seats in the assembly polls, senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan said today.

"About Pawar, it was the numbers game... Sharad had almost joined the NDA but later pulled out over some disagreement over seat sharing for the assembly polls," Mahajan said.

He said Deputy Prime Minster L K Advani had even met Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and convinced him about allowing Pawar to ally with the NDA.

The BJP leader said that seat sharing for the Lok Sabha polls was never a problem with the NCP.

"It was a disagreement over the sharing of seats for the assembly polls that made him opt out of the NDA. Maybe Sharad Pawar thought he had a better chance of keeping his party together by not entering into an alliance with the NDA," Mahajan told NDTV.

The deal Pawar would have got had he allied with the NDA would have been more or less the same as the one he has with the Congress. But the deal included a three-party alliance for the assembly elections as well and it was the seats the NCP would have to leave for its partners there that made him refuse the NDA offer, said Mahajan.

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