A magnanimous opponent is better than a selfish friend, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said, in an apparent dig at the Shiv Sena, as he extolled NCP chief Sharad Pawar for his contribution to the state despite being in the Opposition. “There are few leaders in Indian politics who go beyond the realm of politics and forge a friendship. Sharad Pawar is one of them. A dialogue is necessary between political parties. We may have political differences with him but if an issue concerns the welfare of the state, Pawar himself calls and suggests remedial measures,” Fadnavis said. The Chief Minister was addressing an all party gathering in Amravati, while felicitating Pawar for his contribution to the Parliament for over five decades. “This is the magnanimity which is needed. It is much better to have a magnanimous friend than a selfish friend. Sharad Pawar is one such opponent,” Fadnavis said, adding that his comments should not be misconstrued. The Chief Minister further said that a loan waiver is not the only solution to help farmers, but the decision of the BJP-led government to waive farm loans was necessary. “When the government decided to take this decision, we called up Sharad Pawar. He called us in Delhi to meet him. There (in Delhi), there were leaders from the BJP and the NCP. Some of the demands of NCP leaders were not acceptable to Pawar himself. Taking into consideration the state’s welfare, Pawar guided us,” Fadnavis said.
The Chief Minister further said that being in the Opposition is in the DNA of BJP leaders and that they have now understood what it feels like to be in power. “Making unreal demands being in the Opposition only pleases people and does no other good. However, Sharad Pawar looks beyond politics and parties. Every state should have one such leader,” Fadnavis said.