NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday claimed on a regional news channel that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given him an offer to “work together” in Maharashtra but he declined. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi had insisted on working together with me, as on some issues we have similar opinions. But I refused his offer,” news agency PTI quotes Pawar as saying to a regional news channel.
The statement comes after Shiv Sena forged alliance with NCP and Congress to form government under Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership in Maharashtra. Pawar further said that he assured PM Modi that NCP will not oppose central government’s policies just for the sake of opposition. "Modi told me that my political experience would be helpful for him to run the government. We both share similar opinions on some national issues, hence he made the offer," Pawar said.
The NCP chief had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on November 20 amid the political deadlock in Maharashtra. Although Pawar had at that time said that they only dicussed the issue of farmers during the meeting, there were reports that he was offered President's post by the Prime Minister in exchange of his party's support to the BJP in Maharashtra.
However, Pawar rejected the reports claiming that he was offered President's post. "But there surely was an offer to make Supriya (Sule) a minister in the Modi-led cabinet," he added.
Earlier on Saturday, Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance won the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly. Altogether 169 MLAs vote in favour of the motion of confidence. On the other hand, BJP legislature party leader Devendra Fadnavis was named as Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly.
In the October 21 Assembly elections, the BJP emerged as the single largest party winning 105 seats. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress won 56, 54 and 44 seats respectively in the October 21 polls.
(With PTI inputs)