Sharad Pawar launches counter attack after Narendra Modi diatribe

NCP president Sharad Pawar on Monday came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after the latter targeted him during poll rallies in Maharashtra.

“Somebody please tell him about my election record. I have fought 14 elections so far. Will I shirk from polls,” Pawar said, addressing a poll rally at Ahmedpur in Marathwada region of Maharashtra.

Modi had yesterday said that Pawar chose the Rajya Sabha route and did not contest Lok Sabha polls as he was aware that the “ship (UPA government) was sinking.”

“I am lucky that the country’s Prime Minister does not see any leader other than me,” Pawar quipped, referring to Modi’s diatribe against him during three public meetings in the state yesterday.

“What does Modi say in these rallies? I can understand if he says something of national interest. One can also understand if he speaks about changing the life of the common man. But if you take his speech into consideration, the maximum attack is on Sharad Pawar,” the NCP chief said.

Modi had launched a sharp attack on Pawar and asked voters to banish the “corrupt NCP and Congress” in the polls.

In his attack on Pawar at the rallies in Tasgaon, Kolhapur and Gondia, Modi said the NCP leader cannot imbibe any of the qualities of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji.

“I am amazed. Pawar was the Union Agriculture Minister. But in his Maharashtra, around 3,700 farmers commit suicide every year,” he said.

“There is no chance of you (Pawar) getting Shivaji’s qualities in your character,” Modi said, as he invoked Chhatrapati Shivaji, Shiv Sena’s biggest icon for the Maratha pride plank.

“But as agriculture minister at the Centre, had you implemented Shivaji’s water management techniques, farmers of Maharashtra would not have committed suicide,” the Prime Minister said at Tasgaon, from where former state Home Minister R R Patil is NCP nominee.