Claiming that the UPA-II Government has become ‘vulnerable’ after the DMK pullout, ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has sought a meeting of allies to devise a poll strategy which would include the announcement of the prime ministerial candidate.
He said since the Congress was the major stakeholder in the UPA, his party would respect its view on the candidate. “The UPA’s position has become vulnerable after the DMK pullout. We have to prepare and plan for elections. I have suggested to the UPA chairperson to convene a meeting to discuss this and she herself has suggested that she would like to call a meeting,” he told reporters at Thane near Mumbai.
However, he said he did not mean to say that the UPA Government will collapse immediately, nevertheless they had to be ready.
Commenting on BJP leader Nitin Gadkari’s allegation of a senior leader from the UPA approaching him to topple the government, Pawar ruled out his involvement. “The NCP has nine MPs. The government would survive even if we withdrew support,” he said.
On Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being projected as the PM candidate by a section of the BJP, Pawar said: “So far my experience is that anyone who is projected as the PM candidate does not become one. Moreover, there is no consensus in the BJP on Modi as the PM candidate.
Pawar also gave an earful to his nephew and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar about his ‘urinate’ remark. At a rally near Pune, Ajit had ridiculed a farmer who has been on a hunger strike for nearly two months. “Should we urinate to create water,” he had asked.
On his remarks, Pawar senior said: “These remarks were extremely improper and inappropriate. Those in responsible positions should take care on how they speak”.He said the episode of protests and condemnation over the remarks should have ended with Ajit’s apology.
“Once a person acknowledges the mistake and tenders an apology for the same, it should not be dragged for too long,” he added.