The BJP on Sunday reacted sharply to NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s remarks that late party leader and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar quit the ministry due to his disagreement over the Rafale deal. Party president Amit Shah alleged that Pawar was spreading falsehood as his party’s fortunes were falling.
“Being a former Defence Minister yourself, one expected better from you Pawar Sahab! Your party’s falling fortunes and family fights over seats is making you nervous and spread falsehoods,” Shah tweeted.
The BJP chief added, “Talking of quitting, remember why you quit Congress and what you did thereafter?” — an apparent reference to Pawar quitting the Congress in 1999 after raising Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origins and her credentials to lead the party.
Pawar, along with Tariq Anwar and P A Sangma, formed the Nationalist Congress Party, but later joined hands with the Congress to form the government in Maharashtra.
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Pawar has drawn criticism from the ruling party for his claim that Parrikar returned to Goa and quit as defence minister as he did not agree with the Rafale deal, in which the Opposition have alleged corruption.
Parrikar, who died of cancer last month, returned to Goa as chief minister after the Assembly polls in 2017 amid demands by the BJP’s allies that he should be leading the alliance government.