NCP leader R R Patil is contesting from Tasgaon and faces a stiff challenge with the BJP training its eyes on the constituency; Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held an election rally there for party nominee Ajit Ghorpade.
BJP has got PM Narendra Modi to campaign in Tasgaon assembly seat. Do you think it will have any impact?
I have been working for development in Tasgaon for the last 25 years. I don’t think these rallies will amount to anything. The BJP will not succeed even if Modi holds 288 election rallies in the state… The voters have stood by me whenever I have faced trouble during elections. I don’t come from a family of political leaders. The common people brought me into politics. This time too they will see me through, with a higher margin than before.
Who is the NCP’s main political rival in the multi-cornered contest? Are you wary of the BJP?
The BJP has done well in the Lok Sabha elections and is the main rival.The NCP will be the only party that will stop the BJP from coming to power in the state. The Shiv Sena is strong only in specific belts but that too has reduced after its split with the BJP, and the MNS is not as strong as it used to be. The Congress chose to go it alone and will find out its strength in the election results. As of now, the contest is between the NCP and the BJP.
The RSS has supported Narendra Modi over the opposition’s criticism that he has failed to fulfill promises in first 100 days of government. The RSS chief said Modi does not have a magic wand. How do you see that?
If they knew that they wouldn’t be able to fulfil promises immediately, why were people given those false assurances? Everyone knows that the government does not have a magic wand. The BJP has been associating its work with the principles of Mahatma Gandhi.
Everyone has the right to associate oneself with Mahatma Gandhi but I dare the Prime Minister to condemn Nathuram Godse from the RSS platform before associating itself with Gandhi’s values.
You were the home minister but Congress is taking credit for a safe Maharashtra in its election advertisements. Has the NCP failed to market your achievements?
That the former chief minister is talking about achievements of the home department in the Congress’s election advertisement gives me pleasure. Congress leaders headed various departments in the state government but it says a lot that it was the achievements of the home department that found first place in the advertisements. The NCP has been falling short of funds for marketing. We don’t know where the Congress is getting so much money from. Business houses have been funding the BJP.
How do you feel about dynastic politics?
Dynasty should not be the sole factor driving one’s growth in a political party. My daughter is campaigning for me but if she wants to get into politics, she will have to prove her merit. She should not use my name and I will not allow her to do that.
Sharad Pawar was against putting up a candidate against former CM Prithviraj Chavan in Karad South. Who took the decision to put up an NCP candidate, even though the candidate withdrew his nomination at the last minute?
I will have to get the information before speaking on the issue. But, I feel that there has been injustice against Vilaskaka Undalkar Patil. Prithviraj Chavan is already a legislator through the council and did not need to jump into the assembly elections.