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Sharad Pawar suggests grand alliance against BJP

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

supremo today said all the like-minded parties need to come together to counter the

He also said that with becoming the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, "mandir-masjid" politics may get a boost.

"Looking at the kind of support has garnered in the Assembly elections, it is very clear that all the like-minded parties need to come together (to face it)," said Pawar, who was here to inaugurate NCP's new office.

"All the (non-BJP) parties need to do introspection about their shortcomings. To provide a strong alternative to BJP, it is necessary that all the like-minded parties come together," he said, speaking to reporters.

Asked if any talks had started for this purpose, he said he wasn't aware.

"It is a suggestion. As of now, no detailed discussions have been held....If gets a proposal to be a part of such alliance, we will respond positively," he said.

On the hardliner leader becoming the Chief Minister of UP, Pawar expressed fear that communal politics may take precedence in the northern state.

"Being such a big state, UP needs a leadership with a clear foresight to execute development agenda. However I am now worried about the people of UP, as the new leadership might pay more attention to 'mandir-masjid' issues rather than bringing real development," he said.

His party was open to pre-poll alliance in Gujarat where

Assembly elections are due this year, Pawar said. In 2012 state polls, had a tie-up with Congress and won two seats.

"We haven't received any proposal from any party for alliance. Though our experience with Congress wasn't pleasant last time, we are still open to alliance with it," he said.

Earlier, addressing the local NCP workers, Pawar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had failed to keep his elections promises.

"People voted for BJP because Modi made tall promises before 2014 polls. Modi had promised to increase farmers' income by 50 per cent. But after three years farmers' income has only decreased. That is why large number of farmers have ended their lives during BJP rule," he claimed.

"Initially people thought demonetisation was a good decision. However, it only took away jobs. Around 52 per cent of workers in the small industries became jobless," he said.

First Published: Sun, March 19 2017. 19:22 IST