Amid speculation about realignment of parties in Maharashtra after October 15 poll, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar praised Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for ‘working hard’ to strengthen his party after the demise of his father and party founder Bal Thackeray in 2012.
“After Balasaheb’s death, you (media) wasted a lot of ink on contemplating the future of Shiv Sena. But, Uddhav has proved you wrong. He is doing well to strengthen the party which is more than expected. He is working hard,” Pawar said, adding that success or failure in elections is a different matter.
Replying to questions, Pawar disagreed that the massive mandate in favour of BJP under Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections is a threat to regional parties.
“Regional parties came up because national parties neglected regional aspirations. Regional parties will continue to gain strength,” the veteran politician said.
Responding to a query on former prime minister HD Deve Gowda’s remarks that regional parties should come together to counter national parties, Pawar said there was no such proposal for a non-Congress, non-BJP front as yet.
“I have not spoken to Deve Gowda of late. If something materialises, it could be considered,” he added.
Ahead of poll, the two main alliances of Congress-NCP and BJP-Shiv Sena had collapsed, making it a four cornered contest.