Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday clarified that his meeting with Maharashtra’s deputy CM and his nephew Ajit, who split the party to join the Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra, was not “secret”.
“He had come to meet me as a senior member of the Pawar family. All of you saw that after the meeting, I came out and even accepted flowers from well-wishers. We also discuss family issues in such meetings, which I can’t reveal every time,” he said.
ON PM MODI’s I-DAY SPEECH
Pawar criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not speaking on the North-East during his Independence Day speech, “instead following in the footsteps of Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and saying he would be back”.
Pawar further reminded the PM that Fadnavis came back to power, but not as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. “It was expected that the PM would speak on the North-East, but it seems that he felt that the issue was not that important and spoke about other things.”
“North-East is important for the future of India. It has got the China border and there is a need to take extra care there. What is happening in the North-East is not good. Policemen are getting attacked and two communities are fighting for the past 90 days. But the PM spoke about it only for three minutes before the monsoon session outside Parliament and later for a few minutes on the floor of the house during the no-confidence motion. The PM should have gone there and given confidence to the people of the North-East. He must have felt that visiting the North-East is not important.”
In his speech, PM Modi said, “The Central and state governments have been working on maintaining peace. The whole country stands with the people of Manipur. Peace is the only way to resolve all disputes.”
‘WILL STAY WITH INDIA’
Pawar reiterated his stand that he would not join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and would stay with the Opposition bloc, Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).
“If you see the map of India, the BJP is in power in very few states, in states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, all of us know how they destabilised the government and came to power. Right now, the situation is not favourable for the Modi government in the country.”
EC NOTICE; RALLY IN DHANANJAY MUNDE’S STRONGHOLD
In the press conference, Pawar said he had received a notice from the Election Commission regarding the party symbol and queries related to the party. He said they have submitted their reply and will also be moving court over the Ajit Pawar-led faction using his photo on their banners and posters.
While Ajit is trying his best to convince Pawar and settle the dust, the NCP chief is adamant on not joining the BJP camp. Pawar will hold a rally in Beed city on Thursday.
Beed is a stronghold of NCP leader Dhananjay Munde, who has joined the Ajit faction and is now a cabinet minister in the state government. This will be the second rally which Pawar will address in the constituency of Ajit’s aides. His first rally was in Yeola in Nashik district, the constituency of Chhagan Bhujbal.