Mumbai: In a veiled reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, Union minister Raosaheb Danve has said they have "Gujarat's washing powder" which first cleans the Congress and NCP leaders before they are inducted into the BJP.
He also dubbed as "funeral procession" the NCP's 'Shivswarajya Yatra', the Sharad Pawar-led party's mass contact programme to counter Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' 'Mahajanadesh Yatra' ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly polls.
"We have Gujarat's washing powder which first cleans leaders of the Congress and NCP and then the BJP inducts them," Danve said in an indirect reference to the leadership qualities of Modi and Union Home Minister Shah.
Notably, both Modi and Shah hail from Gujarat. Danve was addressing a rally on Wednesday evening in Jalna district where Fadnavis was also present on the stage.
Hitting out at the NCP's pre-poll yatra, Danve said, "(On one hand) there is Chief Minister Fadnavis' Mahajanadesh Yatra where people are flocking in large numbers. On the other hand, the NCP's rally is, in fact, a funeral procession."
"People generally make a point and attend a funeral procession but in case of NCP's rally, several senior leaders are skipping it. NCP's own people are turning their back on the party's rally," said the Union minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution.
Meanwhile, NCP leader Dhananjay Munde hit back at Danve's remarks. In remarks laced with sarcasm, Munde said the Union minister was "right", and added the NCP's yatra was indeed the "funeral procession" of the "tyrant, insensitive and anti- farmer" BJP-led Maharashtra government.
"But I correct your mistake. People are giving huge response to the Shivswarajya Yatra to pay homage to the authoritarian government. @raosahebdanve," Munde countered Danve in a tweet in Marathi.
He also put out a video clip on his Twitter handle to allege that the rally organised as part of Fadnavis' 'Mahajanadesh Yatra' received poor response in Danve's home turf, Jalna, even as the BJP's working president J P Nadda spoke.