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Sena torpedoes BJP's plan to rope NCP into NDA

January 08, 2004 23:25 IST

In a volte face, the Shiv Sena has poured cold water over the BJP's plans to rope in the NCP into the NDA by refusing to ally with the Sharad Pawar-led outfit.

In a statement on Thursday, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray stated that he is firmly opposed to the NCP being allowed to join Sena-BJP saffron alliance, which is in place for over one-and-half-decades now.

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In the brainstorming meeting held on Wednesday night, the Sena leadership had deliberated over the pros and cons of such an alliance, Sena sources said in Mumbai.

Sena leaders fear allying with the NCP at a time when elections are round the corner could their rank and file because they had sharply criticised the ruling coalition, of which the NCP is a partner, for the last four-and-half-years.

In a statement, Thackeray sharply attacked Pawar saying he lacks ideology. He was referring to the Maratha strongman's recent statement that his party has three options - to join the Left Front and other parties, to ally with the Congress and to have a pact with the BJP-led NDA.

Pawar had then stated that no party was 'untouchable to the NCP'.

Thackeray said, "In the name of the country's interest, Pawar merely serves his self-interest."

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