Mumbai: In a significant development, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Wednesday that his party "will no longer support" the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine in the state.
Earlier, the Nationalist Congress Party had extended legislative support to the government citing the need for political stability. Not any more, Pawar told the media.
"After observing their performance, the NCP will no longer support this government. One of the allies, the Shiv Sena itself is now destablizing the coalition," he said.
The NCP president predicted that in view of the internal differences bogging down the ruling coalition, the coalition may not last long although the government would survive.
Pawar said it was laughable how the Shiv Sena was asking the Bharatiya Janata Party and its Chief Minister Fadnavis to get out of their own government.
He was referring to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's ultimatum on Tuesday to the BJP, asking it to quit if the Sena's "nationalistic policies" were not acceptable to it (BJP).
"The government is led by Fadnavis and the Sena is asking them to get out. This is laughable.
"Both will continue to hurl abuses at each other in the name of self-pride and dignity. This show will go on but none will dare quit the government," Pawar said.
Pawar made it clear that in case the Sena quits the alliance, the NCP does not intend to either offer support or join the government, but would continue to question its ineffective conduct.
He touched upon the critical drought situation in the state and said the government must implement concrete steps to bring relief to the debt-hit farmers.
He criticized the state government for merely making announcements. The policies remained on paper without implementation, like the crop insurance scheme.
Pawar said the Monday attack on BJP's Sudheendra Kulkarni by Shiv Sena activists during the launch of a book by former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri was "disgraceful".
The state government, he said, cannot deny its responsibility in the matter.