Nothing, they say, is certain in politics. Hours after NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena alliance had reached a consensus on Uddhav Thackeray's name for the chief ministerial post, India woke up on Saturday to witness Devendra Fadnavis taking oath as the CM. (Catch all the live updates on the Maharashtra political drama here)
The NCP patriarch has outrightly rejected the speculation that he was behind the latest developments, adding Ajit Pawar's decision to join hands with the saffron party was his own.
At a time when Congress was still reeling under defections and infighting, the NCP emerged as a formidable force during the run-up to the Maharashtra assembly polls in October wherein it bagged 54 seats.
The BJP was severely critical of the NCP while campaigning for the assembly elections and even after the results were declared.
Here are some of the comments:
An old tweet of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis from September 2014 is currently doing the rounds on Twitter:
“BJP will never, never, never have any alliance with NCP. Rumours are motivated. We exposed their corruption in assembly. Others were silent,” Fadnavis had tweeted in 2014.
Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi never minced his words when it comes to castigating the NCP.
In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: "NCP is naturally corrupt. Since the time the party was born nothing has changed."
In October 2019, the prime minister once again trained guns on the NCP and its leaders. Referring to the Enforcement Directorate (ED)'s investigation into Praful Patel-owned company’s land deal, allegedly with the late drug lord Iqbal Memon (Mirchi), the PM said: “There were some people who used to do ‘Mirchi’ (chilli) business and started doing business with ‘Mirchi’".
On October 17, 2019, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said the NCP has legendary records of being involved in corrupt practices. "NCP's corruption cases are legendary. All its past acts were corrupt," Piyush Goyal said.
Interestingly, even Ajit Pawar, with whose support the BJP formed the government on Saturday morning, had targetted the pre-poll BJP-Sena alliance over their respective yatras, saying they undertook the mass outreach initiatives as their government "failed" to perform.
He also alleged that opposition leaders were being lured and threatened to join the ruling parties. "Why are you taking out the yatras if you think your government has performed? These (the yatras) mark the failure of your government," Pawar alleged, without naming any party.