Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar has said he was not involved in any kind of talks between Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar.
On January 23 this year, the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and VBA announced an alliance ahead of civic polls in several cities in Maharashtra. The move was seen as an attempt by Thackeray to consolidate support among Dalits in the state. Thackeray’s party is a constituent of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance along with the NCP and Congress.
Days after the Sena (UBT) and VBA forged an alliance, Pawar had said that no talks had been held among the MVA constituents about taking the Ambedkar-led outfit on board.
On Sunday, while replying to a question asked by reporters whether the NCP would join hands with Ambedkar, Pawar said, ”I am not involved in any kind of talks between them (Thackeray-led Sena and VBA). My point of view is that Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena (UBT) should contest elections jointly.” Reacting to Pawar’s statement, Ambedkar said, ”The elections are not far away, so things will be clear soon. The fact is that Shiv Sena and VBA will fight elections together.”