MUMBAI: Maharashtra Congress unit president Ashok Chavan today expressed satisfaction at NCP chief Sharad Pawar's assertion that the Grand Old Party needs to be strengthened in the interest of the country.
"We are satisfied at the sentiments of Mr Pawar," he said in a tweet, hours after Pawar was interviewed in public by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray in Pune.
Responding to a question on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Pawar, a veteran of electoral politics, said the Congress was the only alternative to take on the BJP.
"Even though the Congress is considerably weakened over the years, Rahul Gandhi has shown willingness to learn and engage with the people.If the people support him, the Congress can be revived and the fact is that a strong opposition is required to strengthen democracy," he said.
Pawar's remarks are viewed as a bid to reach out to the estranged ally Congress.
The NCP was part of the Congress-led Democratic Front government in Maharashtra that had won three successive terms before it was dislodged by the BJP in 2014.
Both the parties had contested the last Assembly polls separately.
Interestingly, the Congress recently expressed practical difficulties in renewing the alliance with the NCP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and Assembly polls in Maharashtra.