A day after break-up, Cong accuses NCP of cheating with BJP

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Sharad Pawar
New Delhi, Sep 26: Putting up a brave face after its alliance in Maharashtra fell apart, Congress today targeted NCP alleging that it was trying to "get close" to BJP, which was quick to rule out any truck with Sharad Pawar's party.

"This is not surprising for us because we knew that over the past one and half to two months, NCP has been trying to get close to the BJP. We were prepared for this and we were already shortlisting candidates for all seats," AICC media department Chairman Ajay Maken told reporters here.

He said that the Congress workers are enthused and feel that this is nothing but better scenario in the long term. "Congress is the only party in Maharashtra, which can give honest leadership, has presence in all regions of state and has state leadership with experience in administration. No other party has all the three qualities," he said a day after NCP announced its decision to walk out of the UPA alliance in the state.

The Congress made the allegation about NCP cosying up to the BJP even as the saffron party today ruled out any tie-up with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP after the October 15 Maharashtra Assembly elections.

"The question doesn't arise," BJP general secretary in charge of the state Rajiv Pratap Rudy said in Mumbai. "Why should there be a future alliance? I can tell you with certainty that we are going it alone. They (Congress and NCP) are going to be non-existent in the state after elections," he said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had said last night after the break-up of the alliance that NCP's announcement of the decision to break ties with Congress soon after the crumbling of Shiv Sena-BJP alliance was "a remarkable coincidence" and that "personal ambitions prevailed more than larger interest of the people".

NCP had blamed the split on Chavan. The developments have dramatically altered the political landscape in Maharashtra, which had become used to two blocs - Sena-BJP and Congress-NCP - dominating the scene.

PTI

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