Talking about how culture communalism is receiving an indirect boost in the country, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar on Sunday slammed the Narendra Modi-led government’s assertion of ‘hitting the enemy in his home’. He further said that whatever actions have been taken against terrorists actually took place in Kashmir and not in Pakistan. Pawar also warned how it is dangerous for the country’s social harmony when our different communities stand each other and stated that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party gets major political help from the cultural communalism.
Post Pulwama terror attack that killed more than 40 CRPF Jawans, Balakot air strike and the government’s claim to have devastated multiple JeM terror camps, the capturing of Abhinandan in Pakistan and his release, the need to teach a lesson to Pakistan and how Modi government is successfully doing this became the talk across the nation. It was also used by BJP in his Lok Sabha poll campaigns even though the Election Commission had put a ban on it. During one of his Lok Sabha poll campaigns, Prime Minister Modi had said: “Ghar Mein Ghus Ghus Ke Marenge” (we will enter the terrorists’ homes and eliminate them).
This statement was massively used by the ruling party leaders after the Indian Air Force targeted a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot following the suicide bomber belonging to the proscribed organisation ramming his explosives-laden vehicle into a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14.
Explaining how people have liked and cheered for Prime Minister Modi when he, during his poll campaign and rallies, said that his government would enter the houses of enemies and kill them, the Maratha leader Pawar claimed that “the attacks that had taken place did not happen in Pakistan but in Kashmir. And Kashmir is a part of India”.
Pawar appeared on a live chat on Facebook on Sunday from his office.
“People do not have information about the Line of Control (LoC) and the situation there. So, they felt some action had been taken against Pakistan,” the former Union minister said. He also alleged that systematic efforts were made to create an aversion towards a particular community.
“It is dangerous for the social harmony of the country that one community stands against another. Muslims are the second-largest community in the country after Hindus,” the former Maharashtra chief minister added.
NCP and Congress are in a damage control mode. The recently concluded Lok Sabha elections were a major blow for NCP and its ally Congress in Maharashtra as both parties together could only manage to secure four and one seats respectively while the BJP and Shiv Sena bagged 23 and 18 seats. Among the total 48 constituencies, Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) managed to wrest Aurangabad and Congress-supported independent candidate Navnit Ravi Rana emerged the winner in Amravati.
After facing this embarrassing rejection from the Maharashtra voters, even after strategising poll campaigns avoiding the mistakes committed in 2014, both the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress is struggling to find an answer to what made them lose the game.
Giving an added boost to the opposition alliance, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray campaigned aggressively against BJP and in favour of opposition candidates; however, it was not formally a part of the alliance. Among others, MNS aggressively campaigned in Mumbai South where Congress leader Milind Deora was facing Arvind Sawant. However, the May 23 result has made all these a few fruitless attempts. The MNS votes shift to neither the Congress nor the NCP.
It is also in reports that after securing the larger share of seats in the state as compared to the alliance partner Congress, NCP now is all set to ask for additional seats from the Rahul Gandhi-led party in the upcoming state assembly polls which is due by the end of this year, in October.
NCP has reportedly claimed that it is the big brother in the state as it has more Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Lok Sabha than the Congress. The party secured more seats than the Congress in both, the 2014 and 2019 general elections in the state.
The Sharad Pawar-led party met on June 1 to analyse its performance in the recently concluded general election. They also strategised for the state polls.
On May 30, Congress President Rahul Gandhi met Sharad Pawar at the latter’s residence in Delhi and both the leaders have reportedly discussed the current political situation. Pawar was in the Congress before he floated the NCP in 1999. Details of the meeting were not made public though.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s Revenue Minister and BJP leader Chandrakant Patil confirmed that his party and the Shiv Sena will share an equal number of seats in the upcoming Maharashtra polls. Patil stated that the two parties would contest 135 seats each in the 288-member House and leave 18 seats for other allies.
The allies of BJP-Sena include Union Minister Ramdas Athawale-led Republican Party of India (Athawale).
In the latest development, Maharashtra water resources minister Girish Mahajan on Saturday has claimed that 25 MLAs of Cong and NCP are in touch with BJP and are interested in making a political shift. He also stated that the opposition will receive a major setback in the upcoming state polls.