Days after blaming Congress for causing the downfall of NCP, Praful Patel, senior leader of the Sharad Pawar-led party, on Sunday said he was only referring to what happened in Maharashtra ahead of the 2014 assembly polls.
“I had said that in the context of Maharashtra. In Maharashtra, we were together, but (at the) last minute, there was no alliance with Congress…as a result both of us lost,” Patel told PTI in Vasco town. The former Union Minister was here to launch NCP’s campaign for the upcoming Goa Legislative Assembly polls. Congress and NCP, which shared power for two consecutive terms (from 1999 to 2014), had parted ways ahead of the 2014 state assembly polls.
“What I had said was in the context of Maharashtra. This was in the context of the state. In Maharashtra, there were lot of scams being projected. But now those scams are not there!,” Patel said. Ahead of the crucial local body polls in Maharashtra, Patel had accused Congress of pulling his party down.
“Congress sank and took us down as well. In the last five years, it is because of Congress only that its workers and supporters and also NCP have suffered,” Patel had said while addressing NCP workers at Akola in Vidarbha region on September 11.
“Scams were not really scam but a conspiracy by Congress itself and leaders like Prithviraj Chavan,” the former union minister had said in Akola. His comments had drawn a strong reaction from Congress, which had said it was an attempt to keep Prime Minister Narendra Modi in “good humour”.
However, reacting to Congress’ charge, Patel on Sunday said that NCP does not need to keep anyone happy. “We are eligible on our own. Why do we need to keep anyone happy,” he said. The NCP, which was in power in Goa till the 2012 polls, had failed to win even a single seat in the coastal state in the last election.