Backstabber Sharad Pawar Can't Be Our Guru: Sena Leader Geete
Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader and former Union minister Anant Geete has ruffled feathers by saying that NCP chief Sharad Pawar who once "back-stabbed" Congress can not be a "guru" for Sena workers.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in Maharashtra was only an "adjustment", he said at a rally in Raigad district, his home turf, on Monday.
While the opposition BJP claimed that Geete expressed the views of Shiv Sena workers, an NCP leader said he had been sidelined and the comment did not warrant reaction.
Pawar is considered to be the architect of the MVA, formed after the Sena severed its alliance with the BJP in 2019.
“Sharad Pawar cannot ever be our leader as this government is merely an adjustment. Let people use as many accolades for Pawar as they want, but our guru is only (late Sena supremo) Balasaheb Thackeray," Geete said at the rally.
“As long as this government is functioning, it will go on...If we separate, our home is Shiv Sena and we will always stick with our party,” he added.
The former MP who was heavy industries minister at the Centre before 2019, said he didn''t harbour any "ill intentions" towards the Sena-led government and wanted it to succeed.
“Pawar formed his party by back-stabbing Congress. If Congress and NCP cannot become one, the Shiv Sena also cannot toe the Congress policy entirely. Congress and NCP were not always cordial (to each other),” he further said.
The NCP was formed in 1999 by Sharad Pawar, P A Sangma, and Tariq Anwar after they were expelled from Congress for disputing the right of Italy-born Sonia Gandhi to lead the grand old party.
But the NCP later became part of the Congress-led UPA governments at the Centre as well as shared power with the Congress in Maharashtra.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday that Geete echoed his view that the ruling alliance in the state was "unnatural".
“I have been saying this for a long time that the Maha Vikas Aghadi is an unnatural alliance, and it can not run the government. Geete has stated the same fact,” said the former chief minister.
Sudhir Mungantiwar, another BJP leader, said, “If a narco-analysis test is performed on any Shiv Sena worker, their inner voice would come out, demanding the snapping of ties with NCP and Congress. It (the alliance) is a political suicide for Shiv Sena."
He also quipped that Sena MP Sanjay Raut praises Sharad Pawar more than Sena president and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
On the other hand, NCP MP from Raigad Sunil Tatkare, who defeated Geete in 2019 general elections, dismissed the comment. “Geete has been sidelined, so his tirade against our leader Sharad Pawar does not warrant reaction. He seems to be frustrated with this alliance,” Tatkare said.
"Whether to give him a warning or not is an internal matter of the Sena. Pawar is leader of the entire state. This government will continue to perform well under the leadership of chief minister Thackeray," he added.