MUMBAI: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar’s statement supporting PM Narendra Modi on India-China border standoff issue has put the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in a fix.
NCP is a part of the MVA government in Maharashtra with the Congress and the Shiv Sena.
However, the NCP chief’s comment is not in line with the Congress stand on this issue. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been continuously attacking the Modi government demanding clarity over the Galwan issue.
Pawar has said it was not the time to play politics.
“We have to stand with the military. During the 1962 war also, China had grabbed 42,000 sq km of our land,” Pawar said indirectly, taking a shot at the Congress leadership.
He, however, also clarified that the Uddhav Thackeray government will complete its term.
Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat also said that there was no threat to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition.
“We have got a three-party government. Each party may have a different stand on issues but we all are together for Maharashtra’s development,” Thorat said.
However, another senior Congress leader said Pawar’s statement was inappropriate.
“Sharad Pawar was with the Congress in 1962 and his political guru Yashwantrao Chavan was defence minister. The situation was different then. India had just got freedom. It is inappropriate to compare today’s condition with ‘62,” he said.
He said Pawar made the statement as he wants to keep his “friend” Modi happy.
“We cannot fully trust Pawar given his history but there is no immediate threat to the government,” he said. An NCP leader said that Pawar is a senior leader and did not wish to politicise the issue like Rahul Gandhi.
“Pawar has served as defence minister. He knows what and when to speak? His statement does not mean that the Thackeray government is in trouble. But, if the Congress and the Shiv Sena don’t work amicably, then things may be different,” he warned.