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Third Bid to Pull Down MVA Govt: Internal Matter of Sena, Thackeray Will Handle, Says Pawar

The NCP leader, who played a crucial role in the formation of the MVA government, said it will complete its full five-year term and ruled out going with BJP, in case the state government falls.

New Delhi: With the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra in crisis, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday alleged that a third attempt was being made to pull it down but expressed confidence that Chief Minister Udhhav Thackeray will be able to handle the "internal issue" of the Shiv Sena.

Pawar, who played a crucial role in the formation of the MVA government, said it will complete its full five-year term and ruled out going with the BJP, in case the state government falls.

He said he would be leaving for Mumbai soon after the Opposition meeting on the joint presidential candidate and would be meeting Thackeray later in the day.

"There are no differences in the Alliance and all have full confidence in the leadership of Thackeray," he told reporters.

"This is not an internal issue of the NCP. It is an internal issue of Shiv Sena, they (Sena) will inform us after assessing the situation," he also said.

Pressed further, Pawar reiterated that it is the Sena's internal issue and whatever that party decides, "we'll be with them".

The Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra appears to be in crisis after Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde and some MLAs of his party went incommunicado and camped in Surat, a day after suspected cross-voting in MLC polls.

As Shinde is yet to spell out his stand, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil ruled out any link of his party to the ongoing political developments but also said the BJP would "definitely consider" a proposal if it comes from Shinde to form a government.

Addressing reporters here, Pawar said, "What happened in Maharashtra, in the past two and two-and-a-half years, this is the third incident. I remember when the Uddhav Thackeray government was being formed, some of our MLAs were kept in Haryana. But later, they came out of there and returned, forming the government.

"After government formation, in the two-and-a-half years, it was working fine. Yesterday, there was a (legislative council) election. As far as NCP is concerned...not even a single vote of NCP went elsewhere.

"A candidate of our front could not win due to a shortfall in votes," he said, adding that it was the duty of the other political party to ensure the victory of their candidate.

Pawar added that cross-voting happens in such elections and there was nothing new in it. He also said the matter would be discussed as to why such a thing happened in the polls and what corrective action can be taken.

Asked about Shinde's reported demand that he be made the chief minister, Pawar said, "only you have told me this. Whether he asked someone to make him CM, I don't know. The understanding there among the three parties is that Sena has the responsibility of chief ministership. Deputy CM is with NCP."

Pawar said Thackeray has convened a meeting of his party and after that "we will talk to them".

Asked if he had spoken with Shinde, Pawar said, "I have not spoken to anyone. I also don't know where they are staying."

Asserting that the NCP, the Congress and Shiv Sena are together, Pawar said it would not be correct to take any step till a guideline is received from the Sena on what the exact issue is and how to resolve it.

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