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Pawar slams Manohar Joshi's remark that he can unify NDA

Source: PTI
August 10, 2012 12:50 IST
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Sharad Pawar has termed as "highly irresponsible" a Shiv Sena leader Manihar Joshi's remark that the Nationalist Congress Party leader has the political acumen to unify National Democratic Alliance and lead it to power in the 2014 general elections.

The Nationalist Congress Party supremo said his party has been with the Congress through thick and thin.

"The statement made by (Sena leader Manohar) Joshi as regards the NCP and me is highly irresponsible. If Joshi has to make any predictions, he should do them about himself and his party Shiv Sena and should not make remarks spreading misunderstanding about other parties," Pawar told PTI in New Delhi.

The statement of Joshi, a former Lok Sabha Speaker, had come against the backdrop of BJP leader L K Advani's prediction of a non-BJP and non-Congress prime minister after the next parliamentary elections. It had also come at a time when the Congress and NCP have arrived at a truce after Pawar had threatened to pull out of United Progressive Alliance government and support it from outside till the 2014 polls.

Noting that the NCP and Congress are in alliance in Maharashtra since 1999, he said the tie-up was still going strong.

"We are the people who keep their word. In coalition politics, credibility and coalition dharma is of utmost importance. Our conduct has always been in keeping with that. In such a backdrop, the statement made by Joshi does not reflect reality but his illusions. Workers of both the parties in the alliance needed to be alert against such attempts to spread misunderstanding," he said.

Joshi had reportedly indicated the "patch-up" between the Congress and NCP would not last long, and Pawar might come to the NDA fold before the next elections.

"If the first Marathi manoos makes it to the prime minister's post, my party chief and I will certainly be very happy. The Shiv Sena chief had also supported UPA candidate Pratibha Patil during the 2007 Presidential elections, as she was Marathi manoos. Pawar can bring together different parties against the Congress," he had said.

"Pawar has all the abilities to become prime minister, but he has not been exploiting these," Joshi had said.

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