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Pawar rules out support to BJP in Maha, says saffron allies

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Ruling out extending support to a BJP government in Maharashtra again, NCP chief Sharad Pawar today said the party and its ally Shiv Sena will stick together despite bickering constantly as they want to remain in power.

“Both the parties (BJP and Sena) will keep abusing each other and calling each other names but none of them will opt out of power. Both will try to run the government in the current circumstances,” Pawar said.

“When we first offered support to the BJP, we did so only so that Maharashtra could have a stable government in place. But, seeing the work of the government in the last one year, we won’t extend any further support now,” the NCP leader said.

The ties between the two pro-Hindutva parties, under strain for quite some time now, worsened further after Shiv Sena activists blackened the face of former BJP strategist Sudheendra Kulkarni for organising the book launch of Pakistan’s ex-foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri and forced cancellation of the concert of ghazal singer Ghulam Ali.

Following Sena’s criticism by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devdendra Fadnavis, it had even dared BJP to walk out of the ruling coalition if it was bored of its brand of “nationalism” and “patriotism”.

Pawar’s party had extended outside support to the Fadnavis government when it was in a minority in the state assembly after last year’s poll. Later, the Shiv Sena, which had gone to the hustings separately, joined the Fadnavis ministry, helping it attain a majority.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of “achhe din”, Pawar said,”If people were going through bad days during our rule, they want those bad days back after seeing the kind of work the present government has done for them.