Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said that he will not align with the Bharatiya Janata Party and instead work towards bringing about a change in Lok Sabha elections next year, PTI reported.
“I will not go with the BJP,” Pawar said. “To stop unrest among people, we need to bring a change in 2024. We will do every possible to bring this change.”
Pawar’s remarks came hours after Maharashtra Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar claimed that BJP wants Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to seek his uncle’s support, The Indian Express reported.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told Ajit Pawar that if he wants his dream of becoming the chief minister to come true, then he should get Sharad Pawar on their side…” Wadettiwar said. “And that is why Ajit Pawar seems to be repeatedly meeting Sharad Pawar and making desperate pleas.”
Ajit Pawar, along with eight rebel MLAs of the party, had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena coalition government in Maharashtra in July. The move led to a split within the Nationalist Congress Party, with one faction supporting veteran leader Sharad Pawar and the other supporting his nephew, Ajit Pawar.
Earlier this week, media reports had said that Sharad Pawar held a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in Pune, sparking speculations.
On Wednesday, Sharad Pawar said that his meeting with his nephew was personal.
“He is my family member,” Pawar said, according to PTI. “If any ceremony is planned in our family, naturally I will be consulted at that time.”
Sharad Pawar has also refuted claims that the Congress and the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) were working on a plan to contest the Lok Sabha polls without his faction of the Nationalist Congress Party.
“The news of a ‘Plan B’ is wrong,” Pawar said, according to PTI. “No such plan is being made. There is a need for change in 2024 and therefore were are preparing for it.”