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NCP chief Sharad Pawar hits out at ‘talkative Modi’s silence’ over attacks on Dalits, minorities, women

At the plenary, NCP chief Sharad Pawar advised partymen to strengthen the organisation at the booth level by forming booth management committees, saying there was no clarity if the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections will be held simultaneously.

Written by Atikh Rashid | Pune |
April 30, 2018 4:29:12 am
Sharad Pawar hits out at ‘talkative Modi’s silence’ over attacks on minorities NCP chief Sharad Pawar with newly-elected party state president Jayant Patil (right) and outgoing state president Sunil Tatkare (left) at the plenary on Sunday. Pavan Khengre

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over what he termed the worsening condition of Dalits, minorities and women in the country and the “talkative PM’s” silence on key public issues.

Pawar was speaking at the party’s plenary at Nisarg Mangal Karyalaya, which was attended by NCP officebearers from across the state. At the meet, party general secretary D P Tripathi announced that Pawar would continue as NCP president as the internal election committee did not receive any other nomination and Pawar was elected unopposed. Jayant Patil was chosen as NCP’s new state president. While Hemant Takle retained the post of party treasurer, Nawab Malik was elevated to the post of vice-president. Sunil Tatkare, the outgoing state president, was elevated to the post of national general secretary.

Speaking on the occasion, Pawar said many a times he had been asked which term in his 50-year-long political career he enjoyed the most, to which he often responded that the most enjoyable terms were when his party was in the Opposition.
“I had the best time of my political life in the Opposition. When you are in the Opposition, you don’t have any responsibilities, you can travel around and see if the decisions that you took while in power have had the intended impact. This is very important because while in power, you depend on feedback from the district administration, which may not always be fair. But when you are out of power, you get feedback from people directly,” he said.

Pawar also launched a no holds barred attack on Modi — who has often referred to Pawar as his mentor — for his “inability to curb violence against Dalits, minorities and women”. He said while Modi used to attack former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for being silent, the former, known for his communication skills and talkativeness, surprisingly goes silent on issues that matter to the public. “There’s anxiety among a big section of our society, be it Dalits, minorities, tribals or women. Also, the way the government responds to the issues of these sections or those raised by the farming community, it fails to convince people that it wants to sincerely tackle them,” he said.

Pointing to the Unnao and Kathua incidents and the government’s response in both the cases, he said the country was going through “difficult and challenging” times. “The way these cases were handled, and MLAs and ministers of the ruling party rushed to defend the rape accused left many in shock,” said Pawar.

Jayant Patil told partymen that the wind had started to blow in the opposite direction as people in Maharashtra were disillusioned with the BJP government. “In rural areas farmers continue to commit suicide while in urban areas people are suffering due to inflation. We need to tap into this anger. We have already engaged rural Maharashtra with ‘Halla Bol’ marches, now we need to focus on urban areas,” he said.

“Youngsters were attracted to the BJP during the last Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls. But now they have realised that all the promises made by the BJP were false. For the first time, people are afraid as political workers are getting killed,” said Patil.
Senior party leaders such as Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule, Dilip Walse-Patil and Sunil Tatkare attended the plenary, among others.

‘Polls may not be advanced’

At the plenary, NCP chief Sharad Pawar advised partymen to strengthen the organisation at the booth level by forming booth management committees, saying there was no clarity if the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections will be held simultaneously. “Earlier, I thought that the elections may be advanced. But after the results of UP bypolls, the plan seem to have been put away and we must thank the people of these two constituencies in UP for this. The ruling party losing from the constituency of a sitting CM is a big thing and it conveyed the extent of disillusionment among the people,” he said.

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