Personal view: AAP, CPI on Sharad Pawar's regional parties may merge with Cong remarks

Sharad Pawar
Sharad Pawar

New Delhi | Opposition INDIA bloc parties AAP and CPI on Wednesday dubbed as personal assessment and view their ally NCP (SCP) chief Sharad Pawar's remark that some regional parties may associate or merge with the Congress in the future.

Members of the ruling BJP-led NDA latched on to Sharad Pawar's remarks to say that his statement was a reflection of his "political weakness" and it seems he is losing the Baramati Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra.

Sharad Pawar's daughter and sitting Baramati MP Supriya Sule and nephew Ajit Pawar's wife Sunetra Pawar were pitted against each other by the two factions of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) from the constituency that went to polls on May 7.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said it is Sharad Pawar's own assessment.

"It may be his own assessment, maybe he has some information," he said.

In an interview to an English daily, Sharad Pawar said that in the next couple of years, several regional parties will associate more closely with the Congress or may look at the option of merger with it if they believe that is best for their party.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja ruled out Sharad Pawar's observation that regional parties could merge with the Congress.

"It is true that Mr. Pawar has made an observation about the emerging political situation and post-poll situation. One must be very clear, ever since we became independent and we had the Constitution, India continues to be a multi-party democracy, it is not a two-party system," Raja said.

"Regional parties do play an important role in shaping policies of the Union government. They participate in governance being part of the Union government. Several regional parties are there. We hope once elections are over, people will give their verdict for government formation... Congress is expected to play a role, at the same time there are several regional parties which will also play their roles," he said.

"There is a possibility of forming a non-BJP, secular government. Regional parties will work with the national parties. Maybe Mr. Pawar has some information which are the regional parties which will merge with the Congress," the CPI leader said.

The NCP, which was formed by Sharad Pawar, PA Sangma and Tariq Anwar in 1999 after they were expelled from the Congress, split last year.

Sharad Pawar became the president of the NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) after the Election Commission in February recognised the Ajit Pawar-led NCP faction as the official party and granted it the party's "clock" symbol.

Shiv Sena leader from the Eknath Shinde faction, Sanjay Nirupam, took a jibe at Sharad Pawar, saying perhaps he was expressing his own desire.

The BJP and the NCP are part of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra with Shinde as chief minister and BJP's Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar as his deputies.

"Perhaps Sharad Pawar ji was expressing his own desire. Many years ago, many times, he tried to have his party merged with the Congress, but the issue would get stuck on his daughter, he wanted her to lead Maharashtra," he alleged.

"It seems he feels he is losing Baramati and so he wants to merge his party with the Congress to re-establish his daughter...But the Congress may not accept his conditions..." Nirupam said.

Both the Congress and NCP (SCP) are "loss making companies" and "zero plus zero is still zero and so the merger would not help them", he said.

The Congress will also soon become a regional party like the CPI(M), which used to be a national party but lost its status, Nirupam added.

BJP ally Janata Dal (United) leader Abhishek Jha said the statement was a reflection of Sharad Pawar's "political weakness".

"Sharad Pawar is known as a tall leader, but the statement shows his political weakness. He thinks his party will not survive, so he is imposing these statements. Congress is fighting for its own existence, how will it save anyone else," he said.

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