New Delhi, Jan 31: NCP president Sharad Pawar Friday termed as “mischievous and baseless” media reports that he secretly met BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. But the BJP said it was a sign that UPA allies recognized the fact that “Congress is a sinking ship and cannot deliver”.
Pawar in a tweet denied meeting Modi: “News of my meeting with Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Jan 17 that appeared in a newspaper is completely mischievous, baseless and false.”
“During state visits or in chief ministers’ conferences in Delhi, I meet CMs, and barring these occasions, never met Modi in the last one year,” the Maharashtra strongman tweeted.
His Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is in alliance with the Congress and sharing power in Maharashtra since 1999, and part of the United Progressive Alliance at the centre for the past 10 years.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) without denying a meeting, said it was indicative of the Congress being a “sinking ship”.
BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said the “Congress cannot deliver…Sonia Gandhi cannot, Manmohan Singh is past, Rahul is a failure… they know as to how the Congress-led UPA has made a mess of India. Therefore, allies are seeking greener pastures elsewhere, nothing wrong about it, it is indicative of the mood of the country.”
Reacting to the tweets of Pawar denying the meeting, Prasad said: “One thing is clear, the allies know that the Congress cannot deliver. Congress is a sinking ship…”
He said the NCP and the National Conference were the Congress’ only allies. “They have practically no allies left except the NCP and the NC.”
Congress spokesperson and union Minister Manish Tewari hit back, saying: “The only ship that is sinking is that of the BJP… They have not been able to gather allies.”
He added that the BJP was trying to “fish in waters that are completely untroubled”.
NCP leader and union Minister Praful Patel said the party is in an alliance with Congress and continues to be so and talk of alliance with the BJP is “completely baseless”.