His extensive tour of the state launched
People appear to be with senior Pawar
Says BJP is playing dirty games to destroy opposition
Sharad Pawar, the Maharashtra strongman, protested against Ajit Pawar’s action of splitting the NCP and declared that he would rebuild the party. He also said it is not the first time for his colleagues to ditch him. It was done in 1980 and he had successfully rebuilt the party after most of the then 58 MLAs had deserted him. He said in the consequent elections none of the rebels had won. Agreed, Sharad Pawar is the face of the party. He has decided to undertake an extensive tour of Maharashtra. In 1980s he was in his early forties. Now he is 82. That makes all the difference. However, Sharad Pawar remains the most popular politician in Maharashtra. He has public sympathy with him. He is a fighter.
Why did things in Maharashtra come to this pass? It is inevitable given the unscrupulous ways of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in going after the opposition leaders. For Modi political gain is ultimate. Corruption can be tolerated. The allegations of corruption are made only to tame the opposition leaders. Political power must be grabbed by hook or crook. On June 27, Modi was talking to party men in Bhopal, the capital city of election-bound Madhya Pradesh. He was at his dramatic best. “If I have to talk about NCP, there are allegations of corruption to the tune of Rs 70 thousand crores. There is a guarantee of corruption. Then, there is Modi’s guarantee that every corruption allegation will be inquired into and the account will be settled. I will not spare those thugs who loot the poor, the society and the nation,” said Modi beating his chest for effect. Chief Minister Shivaraj Chowhan was seen profusely clapping while the prime minister was delivering the dialogue in a dramatic manner. Now within less than a week, the prime minister welcomes the very same thugs (lutere) into his government in Maharashtra headed by Eknath Shinde by spreading a red carpet. Ajit Pawar has taken oath as deputy chief minister for the fourth time.
What is the value of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talk of fighting corruption without really doing so. He got the houses and offices of NCP leaders raided by ED, IT and CBI as he had got the residences of Delhi ministers and Tamil Nadu minister. He got some of them arrested. When all those who face serious charges come to you with folded hands and heads bent, they are admitted into the government where BJP is the major player. Swearing in was done in record time. What should one make out of Modi’s bhashan? His guarantee to the opposition leaders is that if you remain outside the BJP’s fold you will be raided by agencies like ED and ID. Charges will be framed. They will be sent to jail. If you decide to join the BJP dispensation, there will be no rides, no cases and no jails. Life will be happy ever after.
Sharad Pawar, in the last leg of his embattled political life, must have allowed the ‘poor fellows’ to surrender and escape from cases and jails. Praful Patel who was given a position similar to Pawar’s daughter, Supriya Sule also left Sharad. It is uncharitable to say that Sharad Pawar has blessed his nephew Ajit Pawar, but it is reasonable to guess that he could not stop him from leaving the party and join the government to save his skin.
Sharad Pawar was at Karad in Satara district on Monday to pay homage to Maharashtra’s first chief minister Yashwantrao Chavan. He appeared emotional and said the BJP is playing dirty game of destroying all the opposition parties. He vowed to rebuild his party from the scratch. “Those who tried to break NCP, we will show them their place” said Sharad Pawar.
“My fight against communal forces begins today. Such rebellions happen. I will rebuild the party” said Pawar. He accused the BJP of creating fear in society. Addressing a media conference at Satara later, Sharad Pawar said he had launched a tour of the Maharashtra to strengthen the NCP. Asked whether Ajit Pawar’s rebellion on Sunday had his blessings, the NCP chief said “It is mean thing to say. Only those with a mean and low intellect can say this.”
In Karad, Sharad Pawar was welcomed by thousands of supporters and local MLA Salasaheb Patil. Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan who had strained relations with Sharad Pawar marked his presence by way of expressing solidarity.