Pawar launches NCP's poll campaign for Maharashtra

Pawar launches NCP's poll campaign for Maharashtra

NCP president Sharad Pawar here today launched his party's campaign for the Maharashtra Assembly polls, expressing hope that the people would "elect us for the fourth consecutive term."

"There was talk of "a wave" in the country during the Lok Sabha polls. However, the results of Lok Sabha polls and state polls vary. People of the state will wisely decide whom to hand over the reins," Pawar said, addressing a public meeting.

"We are going to face the people seeking votes because we want to make Maharashtra a progressive state," Pawar said.

He questioned NDA government's decision to appoint former Supreme Court Chief Justice P Sathasivam as Kerala governor.

"There are rumours that the appointment of Justice Sathasivam was a thanks-giving for his allegedly favourable stand in a case relating to BJP president Amit Shah," he said. "I don't know how much truth is there to the allegations that it was a quid pro quo," Pawar said.

Targeting Shah, Pawar said, "His diary is full of dates of court cases, so he has the right to allege scams against Maharashtra government."

As to several NCP leaders, including former ministers joining BJP recently, Pawar said, "I don't want to comment on the opportunistic stance of some from NCP who have left the party and joined BJP. I am asking partymen not even to mention their names. Let's think the party has been cleansed."

"If we have to ensure that Maharashtra remains united, we have to take care that there is balanced development in all regions, be it Vidarbha, Marathwada or western Maharashtra," Pawar said, with apparent reference to BJP's support for separate Vidarbha.

Maharashtra had always been at the forefront of industrial development, but in many districts such as Dhule, Buldana, Beed and Parbhani a strong industrial infrastructure was needed, Pawar admitted.

He also said that promoting education among minorities and tribal communities needed more focus and investment.

Former union minister Praful Patel asked the partymen to counter "misinformation campaign" against the state government and the party.

"What sort of talks are going on in Delhi about financial dealings of the Union Home Minister's son?...Modi says we will bring bullet train to India but I want to know if metro or mono rail has started in his Gujarat..." Patel said.

On seat-sharing talks with Congress, Patel said, "We want alliance but it won't be at the cost of self-respect."

Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar rubbished BJP chief's allegation that the Congress-NCP government had "indulged in scams worth more than Rs 11.8 lakh crore."

"How can there be scams of Rs 11.8 lakh crore when the entire budget outlay of Maharashtra in the last 15 years of our regime was Rs 3.75 lakh crore?" Ajit Pawar said. Senior NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal said Congress and NCP will contest the Assembly polls unitedly. "Our alliance won't break," he said.

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