BJP, Shiv Sena rub it in after Pawar's relegation to No 3

Sharad Pawar
New Delhi, Jul 15: With NCP unhappy over relegation of its chief Sharad Pawar to the third position in the new pecking order in the government, the BJP and Shiv Sena today sought to drive a wedge in the UPA over the issue.

"The Congress failed to follow the coalition dharma. That is why the UPA partners are annoyed. I believe that after the Presidential elections, UPA will disintegrate and mid term polls are nearing," BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

He said the UPA was formed without any ideology and the only issue before it was to form a government. The Shiv Sena also sought to strike a similar note with party leader in the Rajya Sabha Sanjay Raut saying Pawar, who is Agriculture Minister, is "as senior and experienced as Pranab Mukherjee".

"Whoever should be No.2 in the Government is the internal matter of the UPA but NCP Chief Sharad Pawar is as senior and experienced as Pranab Mukherjee," the Shiv Sena leader said.

Both BJP and Shiv Sena are part of the opposition NDA and their statements are significant as they come ahead of the Presidential and Vice Presidential elections.

A meeting of NCP leaders is likely to be held here tomorrow in the wake of the key UPA constituent being unhappy over the new pecking order in the government.

Only two days ago, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh designated Defence Minister AK Antony as the No. 2 in his cabinet, signalling the new pecking order in UPA government after Pranab Mukherjee's exit.


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