A day after NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the BJP was misusing government agencies to coerce opposition leaders to join the party, the Shiv Sena on Monday said if these allegations were true, then his nephew and NCP leader Ajit Pawar would have been the first to join the BJP.
In an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena said there was a wave of politicians switching parties in Maharashtra and across the country. The new definition of democracy is being called as “alive-democracy”. “The Congress and NCP in Maharashtra have been swept away as their leaders are joining other parties in wholesale. Many legislators from the Congress and NCP are in queue to join the BJP and Sharad Pawar has expressed concern over it alleging that the agencies such as Income-Tax, Enforcement Directorate are being used to coerce the legislators to join the BJP…. but, had such pressure been true, Ajit Pawar would have been the first to join the BJP,” said the editorial.
Ajit Pawar is being probed by the state’s Anti-Corruption Bureau in connection with the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam. The scam, pegged at around Rs 70,000 crore, relates to alleged corruption and irregularities in approval and execution of multiple irrigation projects in the state during the Congress-NCP regime.
The editorial further said that the “incoming” of leaders had increased in the BJP in the last five years but not due to the fact that they like the ideology or principles. “It is due to the political convenience and to stay in power. Such type of politics has been going on in Maharashtra and in the country for seventy years. There was a time when everyone used to go to the Congress but people are now going to the BJP,” the Sena said.
The editorial said when people used to leave parties in the past, it was never called as switching over or revolt, but a “sacrifice” over ideological differences and in the interests of broader national interest. The 10 legislators in Goa and 12 legislators in Karnataka made a similar sacrifice recently, it added.
The Sena said that the Congress and NCP should not create noise over their leaders joining the Sena and BJP. “They have survived the similar way. Haven’t they taken the Sena’s elected legislators, former chief minister, mayor by calling it “principles” and “sacrifice” into their parties?” asked Sena.