'I am no astrologer to know about third front'
NCP leader Sharad Pawar says he does not know whether the third front will be formed, and is evasive on the ordinance to protect MPs and MLAs
True to his style of offering cryptic replies on crucial issues, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on Saturday avoided direct comment on Generation Next taking control of Congress, having no truck with the third front announced by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and UPA volte face on the ordinance to protect tainted MPs and MLAs.
“We have had some excellent dialogue with senior leaders and their attitude indicated that the allies would come together,” said the union agriculture minister when asked about his party’s communication with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. Still, Pawar stressed, Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of UPA and young leadership is taking over most parties.
Pawar spoke to the media at Roha in Raigad district where he was invited by Sunil Tatkare, district guardian minister, to inaugurate an auditorium named after late CD Deshmukh, former union Minister and RBI governor.
Pawar’s comments came in the wake of his reported displeasure on UPA’s decision to withdraw the ordinance to protect MPs and MLAs. But he sought to play down Rahul Gandhi’s irate reaction to the UPA cabinet decision on the ordinance, and the subsequent outburst. When asked whether his party was in opposition to the ordinance, Pawar said that it supported a decision which was about the rights of citizen to appeal against lower court decisions. He added that all the political parties were in support of the ordinance.
Pawar, however, was rather evasive when it came to commenting on the possibility of the NCP joining the third front. “The NCP is the coalition partner of UPA and it will toe the line. We are not thinking about the front. I am not an astrologer to predict whether third front will be formed or not.”
When asked about his recent meeting with Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi in Delhi, Pawar said it was wrong to even think that Joshi is sulking. “He could have spoken in a fit of rage about the denial of a party ticket,” said Pawar. When asked about BJP leader Gopinath Munde’s candidature in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) elections against him, he laughed it away, joking that he was indeed very worried about it.
‘I’ve asked Sachin to guide budding cricketers’
While praising Sachin Tendulkar for his commitment and demeanour, Pawar said he received a call by him on Friday. “I have asked him to offer his time to aspirants and budding cricketers from Mumbai. He has agreed,” said Pawar.