The NCP has outrightly rejected the invitation of Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi to NCP president Sharad Pawar to join the NDA and become the alliance’s Prime Ministerial candidate.
“We thank Mr Joshi for wishing that Pawar saheb becomes the PM. However, the NCP is a party with ideology. Mr Pawar and the NCP are secular entities. We can never join communal forces. For us, secularism is far bigger than the power,” said NCP spokesman Nawab Malik. He added that there was no question of the NCP joining the NDA -- a party led by secular force.
“We will not sacrifice our secular ideologies to obtain power,” Malik said.
Joshi had invited Pawar to join the NDA at a public function organised on the eve of the NCP chief’s 72 birthday on Tuesday at Pune.
He started by saying that he wished Pawar, who was one of the big leaders of Maharashtra, would one day become the Prime Minister.