Pawar rules out aligning with NDA
NCP chief Sharad Pawar Wednesday ruled out aligning with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the Lok Sabha elections.
"The question of the Nationalist Congress Party going with the NDA does not arise," Pawar said in an interview to CNN-IBN news channel.
Asked whether Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi could be absolved of the 2002 riots in Gujarat, he said: "Are we not going to respect the judiciary? Judiciary has given a clean chit to Modi in the riots and we cannot challenge that."
On Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's comments that Modi should be held responsible for the Gujarat riots, the NCP supremo said: "What Rahul Gandhi is supposed to say, he will say..."
"Any chief minister, including Modi, has moral responsibility of such situations. A chief minister cannot bypass his responsibility when something like that happens. Modi can't avoid moral responsibility for the 2002 Gujarat riots," he said.
Pawar said he was confident that Modi could not become prime minister.
"I am confident that NaMo (Modi) will not become prime minister. BJP can't reach the magic figure come what may. The BJP lost in 2004 despite Atal Bihari Vajpayee being a towering figure. Vajpayee was a bigger personality than Modi," he said.
"I am not an astrologer but I am confident that the BJP will not get the numbers. Can't say who will form the government. It will be a coalition government either by the Congress or by the BJP. We cannot depend on opinion polls as it does not reflect the ground reality," he added.
Asked whether he would work under Rahul Gandhi if the UPA came to power, Pawar said: "Let the majority come".
On his comments asking farmers not to commit suicide, he said: "Of course, otherwise who will take care of their families? Unseasonal rains, calamities do happen, farmers have to show courage."
(Posted on 19-03-2014)