PM, Shah in Maharashtra as BJP senses defeat: Pawar

NCP chief Sharad Pawar. (PTI Photo)

NCP president Sharad Pawar on Sunday asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were holding a large number of rallies if they saw "no fight" from the opposition in the Assembly poll.

Addressing a poll rally in Chalisgaon, Pawar said the BJP has lost sleep as the youngsters were gearing up to defeat the ruling party.

Pawar congratulated the BJP-led central government for abrogating Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, but also asked whether it had the courage to scrap Article 371 which gives special rights to some north-eastern states.

"The chief minister said he could not see an opponent for the BJP's wrestler in this poll battle. I am the president of Maharashtra grapplers association. Our grappler fights with another grappler and not others," Pawar said at a poll rally in Jamner.

"Why is the prime minister holding 9 rallies, Union home minister 20 rallies and chief minister 50 rallies if they think there is no fight? They have lost sleep as youngsters are up for defeating them. Hence, they are roaming in Maharashtra," he asked.

On Shah asking him to list what he has done for Maharashtra, Pawar said he strived to make the state number one in all areas and took steps for the growth of industries and, thereby, employment.

"I was a chief minister when the employment guarantee scheme was implemented in Maharashtra in 1978," Pawar said.

Among others, Pawar also said the women were given reservation in local governing bodies when he led the state.

Pawar reiterated he was named in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam despite not being a member of the bank.

Pawar alleged that factories and business have shut down on the BJP's watch.

The former Union agriculture minister claimed 16,000 farmers committed suicide during the BJP-Shiv Sena's rule.

He alleged, "not even an inch" of progress was made in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial in the Arabian sea despite the BJP chanting name of the warrior king all the time.

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