BJP raising emotive issues, ignoring real ones: Pawar

NCP president Sharad Pawar. (PTI Photo)

NCP president Sharad Pawar said on Thursday the ruling BJP has no solutions to burning problems in Maharashtra like farmer suicide and drought, and hence it is raising emotional issues such as Article 370 and Ram mandir in the campaign for the October 21 assembly elections.

Targeting the BJP-led NDA government, he said central agencies like the ED and CBI are being used to harass political opponents.

He was talking to reporters after participating in a rally organsied after filing of nomination by NCP candidate and sitting MLA Jitendra Awhad from the Mumbra-Kalwa segment.

Asked about the Supreme Court ruling with regard to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's 2014 poll affidavit, Pawar said the matter was sub-judice but he should have given details of criminal cases against him.

Two days ago, the Supreme Court had set aside the Bombay High Court order which gave Fadnavis a clean chit in a case of suppression of criminal matters in the 2014 poll affidavit.

He said the ruling BJP has no solutions to burning problems in the state like farmer suicides and drought, and therefore it is raising emotional issues like Article 370 and Ram Mandir in the election.

Asked about the ED case against him and his nephew Ajit Pawar in a bank scam, the former Union minister said officials of the financial probe agency have "directions from above".

About Shiv Sena youth leader Aaditya Thackeray filing his nomination from the Worli assembly seat, the Maratha strongman said it was a democratic process.

"I wish him all the best," the former Maharashtra chief minister said.

On several NCP leaders leaving the party in the last few months, Pawar said, "They would have realised there was no future for them in the party and were looking for alternatives."

Asked about his long-time party colleague and former minister Ganesh Naik, who has joined the BJP, he said the place where he has gone, workers don't get respect there.

"Now that EVMs are going to be used in the elections there is no use discussing the same," he said in reply to a question on the Electronic Voting Machine.

Meanwhile, Awhad, seeking reelection from Mumbra- Kalwa, said the voters of Maharashtra will give a befitting to those who have "betrayed" Pawar, referring to exodus of leaders from the party.

Speaking in an emotionally-choked voice, Awhad thanked Pawar for accompanying him while filing the nomination.

"The entire state today witnessed as to what he (Pawar), at the age of 80, had done for a party worker," he said.

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