'Remember why you quit Cong?' Amit Shah asks Pawar

Shah's barb was in reaction to Pawar's claim that late BJP leader Manohar Parrikar quit defence ministry because he did not agree with the Rafale jet deal. (Reuters File Photo)

BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday hit out at NCP chief Sharad Pawar accusing him of spreading falsehoods about late Manohar Parrikar and sought to remind him about the reasons for his quitting the Congress.

Shah's jab at Pawar came after the former agriculture minister claimed that Parrikar had quit as Defence Minister following differences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal.

"Being a former Defence Minister yourself, one expected better from you Pawar Sahab," the BJP President said adding the NCP supremo was nervous over his party's "falling fortunes" and "family fights" over Lok Sabha seats.

"Talking of quitting, remember why you quit Congress and what you did thereafter?" Shah said in an apparent reference to Pawar quitting the Congress in 1999 over the issue of Sonia Gandhi's foreign origins.

Pawar formed the NCP, but soon joined hands with the Congress to form a government in Maharashtra. NCP has shared power with the Congress both in Maharashtra and at the Centre.

In the ongoing general elections, Pawar is considered as a mentor and an elder statesman by several opposition leaders and has often played the role of a troubleshooter for the opposition alliance.

Parrikar, who died last month of cancer, had said that he always wanted to work in Goa. He returned as the state's chief minister after the assembly polls in 2017 amid demands by BJP's allies that he should be leading the alliance government.

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