Will Cong, Shiv Sena Cut NCP To Size?

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Despite firming up a formidable alliance, both Shiv Sena and the Congress are still suspicious about the NCP and its maverick leader Sharad Pawar. While both the Congress and the Shiv Sena are maintaining cordial relations, they are doubtful about Sharad Pawar's moves.

The Shiv Sena which initially staked claim and then backed off, knows that it was Sharad Pawar's ambiguous politics that were responsible for the failure. It was only in the second attempt that Sharad Pawar backed Uddhav Thackeray and the government could be formed.  Even the Congress feels that while Uddhav Thackeray is more reasonable, Sharad Pawar is still playing a double game.  There is a strong feeling that Sharad Pawar is still in touch with the BJP and could turn the table at any time. They also are wary that Ajit Pawar's decision to support the BJP was with the tacit support of Sharad Pawar. They feel that once some agreement is reached with the BJP and his daughter Supriya Sule is made a minister at the Centre, Sharad Pawar might walk out of the alliance and join hands with the BJP, sources in the Congress say.

Also, in the civic bodies and district panchayats, the NCP, Congress, Shiv Sena alliance is having a bumpy ride. At the local level, the NCP is waiting to play the waiting game and is keeping the Congress and Shiv Sena on tenterhooks. They feel that the NCP double game could actually jeopardise the Congress and Shiv Sena chances.
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