Dismissing speculation about the NCP and BJP coming together which was fuelled by a meeting in Delhi between party chief Sharad Pawar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik on Saturday said the two parties are like two ends of a river that can never unite.
During their nearly hourly-long meeting, Mr Pawar and PM Modi held talks on various issues including the Banking Amendments Act and the cooperative sector.
"The NCP can never join hands with the BJP because both the parties are ideologically different. The BJP and NCP are two ends of a river that cannot come together as long as there is water in the river," the NCP spokesperson told reporters here.
Mr Malik said there is no truth in such rumours.
The Sharad Pawar-led party is one of the constituents, along with the Congress, in the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra.
Notably, the NCP had offered outside support to the BJP to form a government in Maharashtra after the 2014 assembly elections "in the interest and development of the state". However, the BJP had come to power with the support of the Shiv Sena.
The allies fell out after the 2019 Assembly elections after the Uddhav Thackeray-led party staked claim to the post of the chief minister. The Sena then joined hands with the NCP and Congress to form the MVA government in November 2019 with Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister.
"The definition of nationalism is different for the NCP and the BJP," Mr Malik said, adding the MVA government is working fine. "Some people are giving dates for toppling the MVA government but their prediction will never come true," he said without taking any names.
Hitting out at the BJP, Mr Malik compared the party with a "washing machine".
"The BJP is like a washing machine where a dacoit can also become a saint," he said while accusing the BJP of using Central investigating agencies to force leaders of other parties to switch sides.
"NCP leaders don't fear notices by ED because they know they have not done anything wrong. Our leaders haven't met PM Modi or (Union home minister Amit) Amit Shah asking them to stop the probe," he said.
At present, senior NCP leader and former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case in line with a CBI probe into allegations of corruption raised against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.