Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) founder Sharad Pawar on Thursday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party for “misusing power to destabilise governments in non-BJP states”. “You talk about providing stable government but you had destabilised the non-BJP governments in many states which common people had voted for,” he said.
Pawar in his speech in Beed city also gave examples of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh, and the previous Congress government in Karnataka that he said were toppled by the BJP.
“Soon the time will change and people will only pull you down,” the NCP leader warned the BJP.
Pawar was the architect of Maha Vikas Aghadi—formed in 2019 and comprising the then undivided Shiv Sena and NCP as well as the Congress—which was in power in Maharashtra for over two years till June 2022 when a rebellion of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde against party chief Uddhav Thackeray led to a regime change. Shinde, who successfully claimed the Shiv Sena name and election symbol, became the chief minister and ally BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis was picked as his deputy.
This year in July, NCP leader Ajit Pawar rebelled against party chief Sharad Pawar and joined hands with the Shinde- Fadnavis government, weakening the MVA further.
Following the split in his party, Sharad Pawar decided to start a statewide tour and meet the people of Maharashtra to gain their support in the face of nephew Ajit Pawar’s rebellion.
The senior Pawar also planned to address rallies in the districts of those NCP leaders who had joined hands with his nephew and had taken oath as cabinet ministers.
Sharad Pawar’s rally on Thursday was held in Beed city, the home turf of NCP leader Dhananjay Munde, who is also a close aide of Ajit Pawar. Munde is also now a cabinet minister in the Shinde-led Maharashtra government.
“If you want to join hands with the people in power, please go ahead and do it, but if you say that you have learnt a lot from someone, then at least have a humanitarian view towards that person, or else people will pull you down soon,” said Sharad Pawar in his speech, without naming Munde.
Ahead of the public meeting in Beed city, large hoardings welcoming Sharad Pawar were put up by supporters of Ajit Pawar. These further created confusion about the NCP among locals.
A few people who came to the rally told News18 that they were hoping to hear what Sharad Pawar had to say about Ajit Pawar for splitting the party but were left disappointed as the NCP founder refrained from speaking on the subject.
In his 13-minute, the senior Pawar also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “not taking the Manipur issue seriously”.
Top sources in the NCP said that Sharad Pawar is firm on staying with the INDIA bloc formed recently by opposition parties, but he may have decided not to speak against Ajit Pawar since he is aware of the latter’s hold on the crucial Baramati constituency and may not want to stir up problems for his daughter Supriya Sule who represents the seat in the Lok Sabha.