NCP president Sharad Pawar, senior leaders including Praful Patel, Ajit Pawar, Sunil Tatkare, Dilip Walse Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal and others formally launching party’s           Assembly election campaign in Mumbai on Saturday
NCP president Sharad Pawar, senior leaders including Praful Patel, Ajit Pawar, Sunil Tatkare, Dilip Walse Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal and others formally launching party’s Assembly election campaign in Mumbai on Saturday

Launching Assembly poll campaign, NCP chief Sharad Pawar asserts that results of Lok Sabha and state elections vary

“Modi says we will bring bullet train to India but I want to know if metro or mono rail has started in his Gujarat…”

Mumbai : Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar appealed people of Maharashtra to vote his party back to power in the state for the fourth time to fulfill dream of developed Maharashtra as he launched his party’s campaign for the Maharashtra Assembly polls here on Saturday.

“People of Maharashtra saw the quality of governance in Shiv Sena-BJP combine’s (Yuti) five year rule and voted us back to power for 15 years. They shall now again vote us to power to fulfill the dream of a developed Maharshtra,” Pawar said. “The party workers will have to strengthen bonds with the people for that,” he added.

We have the responsibility to keep the state together, Pawar told his party workers. “If we have to ensure that Maharashtra remains united, we have to take care that there is balanced development in all regions, be it North Maharashtra, Marathwada or drought prone villages in Western Maharashtra,” Pawar said, with an apparent reference to BJP’s support for separate Vidarbha.

He also said that promoting education among minorities and tribal communities needed more focus and investment.

“There was talk of ‘a wave’ in the country during the Lok Sabha polls. However, the results of Lok Sabha polls and state polls vary. People of the state will wisely decide whom to hand over the reins,” Pawar said.

“We are going to face the people seeking votes because we want to make Maharashtra a progressive state,” Pawar said.

Pawar also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and and his government’s rule in last 100 days. He questioned NDA government’s decision to appoint former Supreme Court Chief Justice P Sathasivam as Kerala governor.

“There are rumours that the appointment of Justice Sathasivam was a thanks-giving for his allegedly favourable stand in a case relating to BJP president Amit Shah,” he said.

“I don’t know how much truth is there to the allegations that it was a quid pro quo,” Pawar said.

Targeting Shah, Pawar said, “His diary is full of dates of court cases, so he has the right to allege scams against Maharashtra government.”

As to several NCP leaders, including former ministers joining BJP recently, Pawar said, “I don’t want to comment on the opportunistic stance of some from NCP who have left the party and joined BJP. I am asking partymen not even to mention their names. Let’s think the party has been cleansed.”

Former union minister Praful Patel asked the partymen to counter “misinformation campaign” against the State government and the party. “What sort of talks are going on in Delhi about financial dealings of the Union Home Minister’s son? Modi says we will bring bullet train to India but I want to know if metro or mono rail has started in his Gujarat…” Patel said.

Deputy CM Ajit Pawar rubbished BJP chief’s allegation that the Congress-NCP government had, “indulged in scams worth more than Rs 11.8 lakh crore.” “How can there be scams of Rs 11.8 lakh crore when the entire budget outlay of Maharashtra in the last 15 years of our regime was Rs 3.75 lakh crore?” Ajit Pawar said.

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Question mark over alliance with Cong

Almost all leaders referred to the tough stand adopted by the Congress over NCP’s dem-and of 144 assembly seats and virtually threatened to go alone in the polls.

Praful Patel said, “We want alliance but it won’t be at the cost of self-respect.” Congress asked for more parliamentary seats based on assembly results last time. Now, compa-red to them, we have won 100% more seats in the Par-liament. Hence, I hope, they would take a positive appro-ach on our demand.”

State NCP chief Sunil Tatkare appealed party activists to start working for the polls and not to worry about the alliance. “We should be prepa-red for any eventuality,” he said. Deputy CM Ajit Pawar said that the party won’t tolerate dissidents this time while Chhagan Bhujbal said, “Our alliance won’t break.”

Love Sanatan?

While describing the principle of secularism instilled in the party, senior NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal criticised the Hindutva front over the ‘Love Jihad’ campaign on the social media. He pointed out that BJP leaders like Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi are married to Hindu women and asked whether that too is a ‘Love Jihad’. He then pointed out at several instances where Hindu men have married Muslim women and asked whether that should be called ‘Love Sanatan?’

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