- Current political environment is similar to 1977: Sharad Pawar
- His comments come days after BJP's defeat in Kairana, Uttar Pradesh
- Congress, JDS came together in Karnataka in a last-minute twist
"In 1977, the downfall of one party started, and at one point, the government collapsed. A similar situation can be a possibility now if the opposition comes together," Mr Pawar told reporters, without naming the Congress. After the nearly two-year-long emergency, the ruling Congress was trounced in the general election by the Morarji Desai-led coalition, which remained in power till 1980.
The NCP chief's comments came days after a shot in the arm for the united opposition -- the BJP's defeat in the by-elections in Kairana, Uttar Pradesh.
Extending the formula that won the crucial by-polls of Gorakhpur and Phulpur -- the constituencies of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Maurya -- the Samajwadi Party, Mayawati and the Congress had come together to support the candidate of Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal.
The idea of a united opposition received boost at the oath ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy last month, as leaders of more than a dozen opposition parties got together in a huge show of strength.
The Congress and the JDS had come together in Karnataka in a last minute twist to keep the BJP out of power. In an unexpected move, the national party had chosen to play second fiddle to the regional partner - holding out hope for a new power equation for regional parties.