MUMBAI: The NCP on Monday accused Union minister Ramdas Athawale of vying for "free publicity" after he suggested that NCP chief Sharad Pawar join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the event of the Shiv Sena not forging ties with its former ally BJP.
In a dig, the Congress said Athawale is acting as a "postman" after his meeting with actress Kangana Ranuat "failed to destabilise the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress".
Athawale, who heads the RPI (A), had met Ranaut earlier this month after the Sena-ruled Mumbai civic body demolished "illegal" alterations at her bungalow amidst a controversy over her Mumbai-PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) statement.
"Some people speak a lot and the Minister of State for Social Justice Athawale is one of them. He is busy writing poems instead of doing justice to the section of people whose responsibility the government has given to him."
"He is always yearning for free publicity and any reason suffices him," said NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase in a statement.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary in-charge of Maharashtra Ashish Dua tweeted: "Man of 'Go Corona Go' wisdom is teaching @ShivSena & @NCPspeaks what to do in #Maharashtra by being a postman now after his meeting with #KanganaRanuat failed to destabilize #MahaVikasAghadi govt!" Athawale had earlier this year raised the slogan of "go corona go", which became viral and a source for memes on social networking sites.
Earlier in the day, Athawale asked the Shiv Sena to reunite with the BJP to form a government in Maharashtra and also suggested a power-sharing formula between the two saffron parties.