New Delhi: Asserting that his party has been with Congress through thick and thin, Sharad Pawar dismissed as “highly irresponsible” Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi's remarks that the NCP chief has the potential, political acumen and capability to unify the fragmented NDA and lead it to power in the next Lok Sabha elections.

“The statement made by Joshi as regards the NCP and me is highly irresponsible. If Joshi has to make any predictions, he should do them about himself and his party Shiv Sena and should not make remarks creating misunderstanding about other parties,” Pawar said.

Joshi's statement had come against the backdrop of BJP leader L K Advani's prediction of a non-BJP and non-Congress prime minister after the next Parliamentary elections. It had also come at a time when Congress and NCP have arrived at a truce after Pawar had threatened to pull out of UPA government and support it from outside till the next elections.

Noting that NCP and Congress are in alliance in Maharashtra since 1999, he said the tie-up was still going strong.

“We are the people who keep their word. In coalition politics, credibility and coalition dharma is of utmost importance. Our conduct has always been in keeping with that."

“In such a backdrop, the statement made by Joshi does not reflect reality but his illusions. Workers of both the parties in the alliance needed to be alert against such attempts to spread misunderstanding,” he said.

Reports had it that Joshi had indicated the “patch-up: between Congress and NCP would not last long, and Pawar might come to the NDA fold before the elections in 2014.

“If the first Marathi Manoos makes it to the prime minister's post, my party chief and I will certainly be very happy. The Shiv Sena chief had also supported UPA candidate Pratibha Patil during the 2007 Presidential elections, as she was Marathi Manoos. Pawar can bring together different parties against the Congress,” he had said.

“Pawar has all the abilities to become prime minister, but he has not been exploiting these,” Joshi had said.


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