Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he will not a utter a word against estranged BJP ally Shiv Sena during the campaign for the October 15 Maharashtra polls as a mark of respect for Bal Thackeray.
On the second day of his poll campaign in Maharashtra, Modi launched a blistering attack on NCP chief Sharad Pawar, saying he lacks the qualities of Maratha leader Shivaji and “failed” to address the water woes of the people of the state as Chief Minister and Agriculture Minister.
Talking about BJP’s estranged ally Sena, he said, “Political pundits are saying why is Modi not criticising Shiv Sena in his speeches (during poll campaign). This is the first election in absence of late Bal Thackeray, for whom I have great respect. I have decided not to utter a single word against Shiv Sena. This is my tribute to Balasaheb Thackeray”.
“There are some things which are above politics…There are feelings. Not everything should be linked to politics,” the 64-year-old BJP leader said addressing a poll rally at Tasgaon in Sangli district of western Maharashtra, from where former state Home Minister R R Patil is NCP nominee.
BJP has fielded former Congress MLA Ajit Ghorpade against Patil for this key poll battle in Maharashtra. Modi, who began his speech in Marathi, launched a scathing on Pawar for his comments about Shivaji “plundering” the treasury of Surat.
“Pawar’s statement has hurt me deeply. You don’t have knowledge of history. Gujarat was part of Maharashtra prior to its formation in 1960. We have considered Maharashtra as big brother,” he said.
“We never thought what you said. I want to ask Pawar: you speak of Shivaji. It was the Vajpayee government which named Mumbai airport after Shivaji. You were CM but did not think of it. Even Victoria Terminus was named Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus by Vajpayee government,” the PM said.
“There is no chance of you (Pawar) getting Shivaji’s qualities in your character. But as agriculture minister, had you implemented Shivaji’s water management techniques, farmers of Maharashtra would not have committed suicide,” he said.