Talks with regional parties for anti-BJP alliance: Pawar

Talks with regional parties for anti-BJP alliance: Pawar
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New Delhi: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said he will start discussions with opposition parties including regional groups in a bid to present an alternative formation to defeat the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections and the issue of Prime Minister can be decided after polls.

Addressing a press conference after the NCP’s National Convention here, he said he had already held “informal” meetings with many including Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

“I honestly feel it is better to resolve the issues statewise among non-BJP parties and form a viable alternative in the states to replace the BJP from the particular state and ultimately from the national level,” he said.

Pawar said his party had on Wednesday given a green signal to his plan of bringing regional parties on board through discussions.

“Informally, I have discussed the issue with many. But, officially, I have not held discussions yet. Now, I will start as my party has given its approval… There are some difficulties but it is possible.”

The NCP chief said his party had discussed the plan with Congress and Peasant and Workers Party in Maharashtra.

“We have come together and decided to face elections collectively. Of course, detailed discussions regarding ticket distribution and others will be completed in next 2-3 months. We would like to create the same situation in other parts of our country.”

He said he may hold discussions with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) as well.

When asked if he would be an alliance maker, Pawar said he was taking the lead and he had “no personal interest”.

“I can definitely say the person who is taking interest or initiative, he should not be the candidate (for Prime Ministership). So I have no personal interest. So one who does not have personal interest, I think it is easy for him to discuss with others.”

Pawar said said the discussion on the opposition’s Prime Ministerial candidate was not an important issue “at this stage”.

He said Morarji Desai and Manmohan Singh were declared Prime Minister in 1977 and 2004 after the elections.

“We never projected anyone as a leader. We just sat together and discussed various leaders. And Manmohan Singh was elected as leader of that formation, UPA, and for 10 years we provided stable government. So projecting A or B is not very important at this tage.”

Pawar said the BJP may take the help of “all forces” including investigating agencies to apply pressure on regional parties.