Sharad Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president, has revealed in his autobiography that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was interested in a post-poll alliance with the NCP in 2019, but he made it clear to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that such an alliance would not be possible. In his book, ‘Lok Majhe Sangati’, which was released on Wednesday and focuses on events post-2015, Pawar admitted that informal talks between some NCP and BJP leaders took place after the 2019 assembly polls in Maharashtra.
Pawar stated that he was not involved in the process, but the BJP started exploring the possibility of an alliance with the NCP. However, since the NCP had little interest, it decided not to go with the BJP. Pawar met Modi during the winter session of Parliament in November 2019 and made it clear that there could be no political alliance between the two parties. Although there was a section of leaders in the NCP who wanted ties with the BJP, Pawar said he told Modi that there could be no truck between the two parties.
Pawar also revealed that the BJP wanted an alliance with the NCP during the time of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and even in 2014, there were attempts to have the NCP in its camp. However, the BJP fell short of a majority in the state after the 2014 assembly polls, and the Shiv Sena, BJP, Congress, and NCP contested separately in assembly polls. Pawar claimed that he was aware of the talks with the BJP in 2014, but was not present during them.
Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar broke ranks and took oath as deputy chief minister in the short-lived Devendra Fadnavis government. Meanwhile, Pawar announced on Tuesday, at the book release, that he would be stepping down as chief of the NCP, the political outfit he founded and helmed in 1999.