Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Saturday said his party's stand of not joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party was always very clear, and even if any suggestion to the contrary came up, he did not approve of the idea.
The veteran politician's statements at a news conference Pune came a day after his nephew and rebel NCP leader Ajit Pawar targeted him.
"If anyone did suggest that we should support the BJP contrary to the stand we had taken, (even) then many in the party including me did not agree with that (suggestion). Our stand not to go with the BJP was very clear," Sharad Pawar said.
"Our views are not coherent with (the ideology of) the BJP. We had not asked for votes in the assembly elections to go with the BJP, we sought votes to fight against them. I was firm on my stand that those who believed in our ideology will be betrayed if we go with the BJP," he added.
In a jibe at Ajit, the NCP chief further said that if anyone who had taken the oath of office in the wee hours of morning was claiming that it was the party's policy, that person 'should not be taken seriously'.
On Ajit Pawar declaring that his faction will contest the Baramati Lok Sabha seat -- currently represented by Supriya Sule -- Sharad Pawar said in democracy any person is free to contest from anywhere.
Asked about his former associate and Ajit faction leader Praful Patel's remark that he will one day write a book narrating the multiple political events of his life, Pawar said, "It is a good thing if he is writing a book and I am waiting for it. He should write a chapter on why people are leaving his party. I even heard that ED (Enforcement Directorate) officials had visited his house in Mumbai; there should be a chapter on this topic too."
The Ajit Pawar group, which joined the government of the BJP and Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena in Maharashtra in July this year, has claimed in the past that Pawar senior too was in favour of forming alliance with the BJP at one point but changed his stand later.
In 2019, Ajit Pawar had taken an early morning oath of office as deputy chief minister along with Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister amid a deadlock over alliance formation after the assembly elections.
But the Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar government collapsed within four days for want of numbers.
Speaking at a conclave of his faction at Karjat on Friday, Ajit Pawar, now a deputy chief minister, claimed that the Sharad Pawar-led group had been reaching out to him for a patch-up, and one meeting for this purpose was arranged on August 12 at businessman Atul Chordia's Pune house.
If Pawar senior did not like the decision to join the Shiv Sena-BJP government, why did he seek such a meeting, Ajit Pawar asked.