Efforts On At National Level To Unite Non-BJP Parties: Sharad Pawar


Mumbai:

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Monday said efforts are underway at the national level to bring non-BJP parties together to create a public opinion and he was not keen to take up any responsibility due to his age.

Speaking to reporters in Thane, Mr Pawar accused the Narendra Modi government of failing to fulfil any of the promises made by it since 2014 including bringing “acche din, connecting villages through the internet, and providing toilets, water, and power to every household”.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda is to keep smaller parties away from power, Mr Pawar claimed.

“Efforts are underway at the national level to bring non-BJP parties together and bring about a public opinion against the BJP,” he said.

Pawar, 81, said he didn’t want to take up any responsibility at this age.

“I will only help bring together non-BJP parties to generate a public opinion against the BJP,” he said.

“The Union government made several promises since the 2014 general elections, but it never fulfilled a single promise. The prime minister had promised a house to every person in the country, but the government failed to keep its word. Now the new promise is of creating a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024,” Pawar said.

The NCP chief further criticised the BJP, claiming it uses Central probe agencies to come to power in states.

“What BJP is doing against its opponents is nothing but an attack on parliamentary democracy which is a matter of serious concern. In all the non-BJP-ruled states, the saffron party is trying to split legislators and capture power. Maharashtra is the latest example,” Pawar said, adding that the BJP has failed in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

In June, Eknath Shinde and 39 other Shiv Sena MLAs rebelled against the party leadership, leading to the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government, which comprised the Sena, NCP and Congress.

Eknath Shinde became the CM on June 30 with the BJP’s support.

Mr Pawar said the BJP was misusing the Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation, and the Income Tax, to scare Opposition leaders.

Two senior NCP leaders – Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik – are currently in jail after being arrested by the ED in different money laundering cases.

“Can you imagine a record 110 raids by the CBI, ED and IT on Anil Deshmukh and his kin”? Pawar asked.

“Initially, the agencies claimed the misappropriation (of funds) was to the tune of Rs 100 crore, later they modified it to Rs 4.07 crore, and now they are saying it is just Rs 1.71 crore. All this will be exposed in court,” he said referring to the Anil Deshmukh case.

Pawar said NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut were put in jail as they used to speak out on behalf of their respective parties.

Queried on a tussle between two factions of Shiv Sena over the party’s poll symbol, he said the issue (pending before the Election Commission of India) might be settled very soon.

Responding to a query, Mr Pawar termed “shameful” the release of 11 life-term convicts in the Billkis Bano case under the remission policy of the Gujarat government.

“This decision was contradictory to what Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said about respecting women on August 15. On the contrary, crime against women is on the rise,” the former Union minister said.

Mr Pawar also suggested that activist Teesta Setelvad’s arrest was wrong.

Setalwad was arrested by the Gujarat Police in June for allegedly submitting false evidence in the 2002 Gujarat riots case.

Mr Pawar said NCP leaders will tour various districts in Maharashtra to review the party work and he will visit select districts.

He wondered how could BJP leaders predict imminent legal action by agencies against Opposition leaders.

Mr Pawar said he would take up the issue of Central Railway plying air-conditioned local trains in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) against the popular demand to operate non-AC suburban trains.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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