A day after his remarks about snap polls in Maharashtra created ripples, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar today said it was not his intention to topple the Devendra Fandnavis-led BJP government in the state – Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena had reacted with fury at Pawar’s poll suggestion.
“Sharad Pawar is taking advantage of this unstable government, but the Shiv Sena will stand firmly here. Let Pawar do whatever he wishes to. The Sena is fulfilling its role as an Opposition party honestly and with utmost sincerity,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
“We don’t have any interest in toppling this government,” Pawar said, addressing the concluding function of the two-day conclave of senior NCP leaders which began at this coastal town yesterday.
“I did not speak anything different than what I said earlier that we don’t have any interest in pulling down the government. But if Maharashtra’s interests are not being protected, any party will take a stance,” Pawar said.
“But this does not mean that we are out to pull down the government,” he said.
“We can be emphatic if the state government is not taking the right decision or if a legislation is not agreeable,” he said.
“But the picture painted after my yesterday’s speech is exaggerated. We have been given a mandate to sit in opposition. We are ready to take to the streets for any issue which is in the interest of people,” he said.
But this does not mean that we want to create instability.
On Narendra Modi’s style of functioning, Pawar said, “We don’t know about the product but the marketing is excellent.”
Referring to PM’s US and Australia visits, Pawar said, “Modi said he started the Janadhar scheme. But an RTI query shows there is zero balance in 74 per cent of the accounts under the scheme.”
“However, we have been hearing a lot about it,” he said. “We must concede that no one can beat Modi when it comes to marketing even a small product,” Pawar said.
At Baramati poll rally, Modi asked people to overthrow “slavery” (of Pawars), but our winning margin rose to over 90000. In Tasgaon, where Modi addressed a poll rally, R R Patil’s victory margin was over 20000 instead of the usual 3000 to 4000, he said.
“We must concede that Modi used media effectively. This is specially true in case of social media,” he added.
The drought situation in Maharashtra will get worse in the coming months and we have to take serious efforts to tackle it, Pawar said.
Pawar said there should be a family-like atmosphere and internal communication within NCP.
“I appeal to you to build the party through membership drive and make serious efforts to take all sections of society with us,” Pawar said.
“In the two-day deliberations, we dwelt on our poll performance and the impact of social media through an elaborate presentation,” he said, adding, “we have to focus on social media.”
“Some like Chhagan Bhujbal said they no longer believe there is a connect between developmental work done and poll results,” he said.
“Someone said he implemented Rs 12 crore scheme in a village but did not get votes from there,” he said.
“This does not mean that we should abandon the mission to engage in developmental work,” he said. People support us because of the attention we pay to developmental work, he said.
Times have changed. People want quick results, Pawar said.
“We should think differently while putting forth people’s issues. We have to ensure that sugarcane growers get remunerative price for their produce, he said.
“We may not be in power, but we should put forth people’s issues effectively,” Pawar said.
Pawar ridiculed “experts” on TV debates, saying “there are the same four-five faces who speak on every topic.”
Citing TV debates on his remarks on snap polls yesterday, he said “the propaganda that we want to topple this government in wrong.”