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NCP adds to list of unhappy UPA allies

Sharad Pawar upset with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for statement where he took potshots at allies

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is facing attacks from all sides, but the Opposition can't claim credit. That's because the trouble is brewing within the ruling coalition. After pacifying TMC and DMK, Congress is being forced to focus on a disgruntled Nationalist Congress Party.


Clock ticking for UPA? Pawar has asked Congress not to compare his
party with other coalition members. File pic


This after NCP supremo and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said yesterday that he was pained by the Prime Minister's comments on allies. Addressing media persons at YB Chavan Centre near Mantralaya, Pawar said his party has always adhered to the coalition dharma. "My party MPs have always been supportive of the government and have toed the line of the UPA. After coming to know of the PM's statement I felt it my duty to clear my party's stand on the issue. Do not try to paint all the coalition partners with the same brush," he said.
Alienated allies?
Pawar was reacting to Dr Manmohan Singh's statement in Parliament on Monday where the latter had blamed UPA allies for creating problems during major policy decisions. Pawar also clarified his position on NCP attending the swearing-in ceremony of the Akali Dal government in Punjab recently. "I maintain a very cordial relationship with Parkash Singh Badal since 1978. Since I was ill, party leader Praful Patel and MP Supriya Sule were present at the ceremony," he said. 

On the question of joining hands with Congress to capture power in zilla parishads and panchayat samitis, the NCP chief said it has been decided that the party with maximum numbers will claim posts in local bodies. "But I am told Congress has second thoughts about some places in the state. If that's the case, NCP will reserve its right to align with other parties even though we are not inclined to do so," he said. Even as he was unhappy, Pawar ruled out any possibility of mid-term polls.

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