Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said that he and his party will never support or endorse the BJP while promising to take action against his party MLAs who defected under the leadership of his nephew Ajit Pawar to form a joint coalition government in Maharashtra.
"We are strictly against the BJP and will always oppose it,'' the NCP veteran said while addressing a joint press conference with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at the YB Chavan Centre in Mumbai.
''Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP leaders came together to form the government. We had the numbers. We had our official numbers - 44, 56 and 54 MLAs with us who had supported the government. Several independents were also with us and we had numbers around 170,'' Sharad Pawar on the ongoing process for government formation.
"Then I came to know, under Ajit Pawar, some NCP leaders had gone there. After a while, we saw that Devendra Fadnavis was made the CM and Ajit Pawar deputy CM," the NCP chief said.
Pawar also promised to take strict action against his party MLAs who betrayed him.
''We trust our MLAs and believe that an honest NCP worker will never join hands with BJP,'' Pawar said.
"Whoever went and whoever is going to go, we don't know of it. I want to tell them two things - anti-defection law exists and so their efforts will be wasted."
''We will analyse the situation and take appropriate action,'' the veteran Maharashtra politician said.
The Maharashtra stalwart added that ''action against Ajit Pawar will be taken as per the procedure.'' ''I don't know if he (Ajit) has done this fearing the investigating agencies or not,'' he told reporters.
Attacking the Fadnavis government, Sharad Pawar said, "Public opinion is against forming the government with BJP. If such actions are still taken, people of their constituencies won't support them. If they resign and go for a re-election, we will do everything to defeat them. All three parties."
Pawar had earlier clarified that the decision of going with BJP to form the government in Maharashtra is of his nephew Ajit Pawar, who took as Deputy Chief Minister today.
"Ajit Pawar`s decision to support the BJP to form the Maharashtra Government is his personal decision and not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his," Sharad Pawar had tweeted.
Earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday took oath for the second term and said that he will provide a stable government in the state following entering into an alliance with the NCP.
"I would like to express my gratitude to NCP`s Ajit Pawar ji for taking the decision and coming together with BJP for a stable government in Maharashtra. Some other leaders also came with us and we staked claim to form the government. After that, we have also staked claim to Governor for the government formation," Fadnavis said soon after taking the oath.
Fadnavis also hit out at his former ally Shiv Sena and said that they tried to stitch an alliance with other parties even when the people gave a clear mandate.
"People had given us a clear mandate, but Shiv Sena tried to ally with other parties after results, as a result, President`s rule was imposed. This is not right for the state. That is why Maharashtra needed a stable government not a `khichdi` government," he said.
BJP, with 105 seats forged alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party which bagged 54 seats to garner the majority figure.
NCP`s Ajit Pawar took oath as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.The move came at a time when deliberations between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena seemingly reached the final stage on Friday.
Earlier, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had claimed that there was a consensus on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister of the alliance government.
Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats while 44 seats went to Congress in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the Chief Minister`s post and equal sharing of Cabinet berths.
Shiv Sena parted its ways with BJP to explore ways to form a government.
It, however, failed to prove the support of the required number of MLAs in the time given by state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
The Governor had then invited NCP, the third-largest party, to prove its ability to form the government failing which President`s Rule was imposed in the state.