Reaching out to sulking NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday hailed him as a ‘very valued colleague’.
The PM said Pawar’s knowledge, wisdom and experience are a “great asset”to his government.
“Mr Sharad Pawar is a very valued colleague of mine whose knowledge, wisdom and experience are a great asset to our government,”
Amid the growing tussel over No2 position, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member Praful Patel said that the UPA government must be more committed and decisive now.
“We have had an ongoing discussions on certain issues from time to time. Our issues are about the functioning of the UPA and the larger coalition. NCP has communicated certain views to the government and things have not been resolved,” he said addressing the mediapersons after the crucial NCP meet.
Patel clarified that there was no fight over the No2 position in the government. “We never offered to resign. Pawar is not such a petty leader to raise the petty issue of number 2 slot. Pawar sits next to Sonia Gandhi in Parliament, issue of No2 absurd.”
Patel was quick to add that NCP will continue to be the integral part of UPA. “NCP has been one of the most responsible allies of the UPA govt for the last 8 years. NCP is an integral part of UPA and continues to remain an integral part. We are more concerned with the functioning of the UPA government,” Patel said.
The NCP also expressed displeasure over the issue blown out of proportion.
On being asked about the resignation sent by Pawar to PM, Patel said: “There has been tremendous speculation on communication sent by Sharad Pawar to PM. There has been some speculation about certain position which Sharad Pawar holds in the government. We are more concerned with the functioning of the UPA government.”
He also slammed Congress members for fuelling the speculations. “Some sections of Congress should not use media to create a wedge between the partners. Unnecessary comments are made by some sections of Congress to the media in the name of sources,” the NCP leader maintained.
NCP will again meet on July 23 to discuss the issues and will decide the next course of action after Monday.