Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar today advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rein in the polarising elements in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling dispensation, saying that campaigns like ‘Ghar Wapsi’ (reconversion) were detrimental to the national integration.
Addressing a press conference here for the first time after recovering from a surgery, Pawar said, “Those who have been elected on the development plank should know that such methods to cause divisions in the society are not good for the country. Steps should be taken to rein in such elements because this will endanger communal harmony and the country may have to face the consequences.”
There were several important issues that the country was facing, and reconversion was not one of them, he asserted.
Asked about the land acquisition amendment ordinance, Pawar said, “promulgating an ordinance is the prerogative of the government. But it would have been better if the government had held deliberations on amendments like removal of the consent clause which had been cleared by the Parliamentary standing committee headed by Sumitra Mahajan, who is now the Lok Sabha Speaker, and a ministerial panel headed by me.”
The former Union minister also expressed concern over the persistent tension on the India-Pakistan border, saying relocation of thousands of families (due to the shelling from across the border) was worrying.
He also took a strong objection to the BJP-led Maharashtra government’s decision to provide reservations to Marathas but leave out Muslims. The proportion of backwardness among Muslims in education is higher, which is why the previous Congress-NCP government had provided reservations in jobs and education to both communities, he said.
He also said that NCP would contest a limited number of seats in the Delhi Assembly polls. “We haven’t decided which party we should form alliance with,” he added.