Pawar targets Shah at launch of poll campaign

Says BJP chief himself faces a long list of cases, should mind his language while attacking rivals.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: September 7, 2014 12:53 am
From left: NCP leaders  Ajit Pawar, Dilip Walse-Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Praful Patel, Sharad Pawar and Sunil Tatkare break coconuts to launch the party’s campaign for Assembly elections, in Mumbai on Saturday. (Source: Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar) From left: NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, Dilip Walse-Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Praful Patel, Sharad Pawar and Sunil Tatkare break coconuts to launch the party’s campaign for Assembly elections, in Mumbai on Saturday. (Source: Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar Saturday trained guns on BJP president Amit Shah and said the leader who himself had a long list of cases pending in various courts should mind his language while making allegations against political rivals.

Pawar, who launched the NCP campaign for Maharashtra Assembly elections Saturday, chose to attack Shah who is likely to be the star campaigner for BJP. Shah has already pledged to “dislodge the Congress-NCP government”.

Pawar said: “I have seen reports that suggest the NDA government took the decision to appoint former chief justice of India P Sathasivam as the Governor of Kerala as a quid pro quo for helping Amit Shah.  It baffles me to see a former CJI readily accepting his appointment as governor. It is the CJI who administers the oath of office to state governors. And here we have a former CJI taking the charge as governor. It is shocking as it somewhere undermines the post of CJI.”

Referring to Shah’s attack on the NCP during his Mumbai visit earlier this week, Pawar said: “The all-India BJP president should show some restrain when speaking against political rivals. He himself has a long list of cases against him and is facing trials.”

On Thursday, Shah said at a BJP function in Mumbai: “The Congress-NCP government has a series of scams to the tune of Rs 11.88 lakh crores.” He had also criticised Sharad Pawar for “ignoring farmers at the cost of industrialists”.

Meanwhile, speaking at the launch of NCP campaign, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who also addressed the gathering, warned NCP workers that anybody found working against the party’s interest would not be spared. He said there could not be any compromise on dedication for the party, adding: “All of us have to pledge to see our government returns to power in Maharashtra.”

‘Alliance is on’

Even as the NCP launched its poll campaign, its seat-sharing negotiations with the Congress remains inconclusive. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, however, indicated that if the NCP got seats on its terms a joint campaign with the Congress was possible. Stressing on “secular politics”, he said: “Assembly elections are not about becoming ministers or MLAs. We have to safeguard the secular politics and ensure welfare of Maharashtra.” Earlier, former Union minister Praful Patel said: “NCP expects more seats from Congress. We want this alliance. We have no intention to join hands with the BJP. If that were the case, we would have done this in 1999. But we believe in secular politics.”

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