MUMBAI: The NCP in Maharashtra today said it will maintain a distance from the Shiv Sena and BJP-- who are locked in a power struggle to install their Mayor in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)--unlike the Congress which had aligned with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party in Osmanabad and Raigad Zilla Parishads ahead of the state civic polls.
Talking to reporters here, State NCP President Sunil Tatkare said his party was clear from the start of the campaign (for the just concluded Municipal Corporation and Zilla Parishad polls in Maharashtra) that it will not have any understanding or friendly fight with the Shiv Sena and BJP.
"We kept our word while Congress which had also assured the same, tied up with the Sena in Osmanabad and Raigad Zilla Parishads. While in many seats elsewhere, they were in a friendly fight," he alleged. Tatkare said the party is yet to take a call on Mumbai Mayor elections and will wait to see how the situation unfolds. "(However) Under no circumstances, will our party support the Sena or BJP (in the BMC). We feel the two saffron parties are likely to come together for power. Shiv Sena has no guts to withdraw support to the state government," Tatkare claimed. Taking a dig on Sena, Tatkare also said, "only they (Sena) know where is the notice period for the BJP led government in the state and whether the resignation letter carried by its ministers in their pockets is still there or torn." "What is the use of only criticising the government through 'Saamana' (the Sena mouthpiece). Shiv Sena should act on the criticism and withdraw support," he added.
To a question regarding speculations that NCP may support a Shiv Sena government, Tatkare said, "I don't foresee a mid-term election since Shiv Sena will not pull out of the government. To install its own CM, Sena will have to withdraw support to the present government. If it does pull out and think about forming a government, we will see what to do."
When asked about the prospect of a no-trust motion against the Devendra Fadnavis government, he said the Congress has not discussed the proposal with his party. Meanwhile, nine NCP corporators from Mumbai met party chief Sharad Pawar where he discussed the political situation in the city, post the Mumbai civic poll results where BJP finished just two seats behind Shiv Sena (which won 84 seats). Four of the five independents have joined the Sena since the results.