PUNE: NCP leader and former chief minister Ajit Pawar on Tuesday said he would quit politics if allegations that he ordered the firing on farmers in Maval were proved true.
The allegation was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Wardha on Monday.
Police had fired on agitating farmers in Maval on August 9, 2011, killing three of them.
Hitting back, Pawar said, "Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has all the police machinery under him. He has CID, CBI and other institutions. I am the son of a farmer and I will never do something which is against farmers. If it is proved that I had given orders of firing, I will quit politics," Pawar asserted.
He also dared those making the allegation to do the same if the allegations were found to be false.
"When I am saying that I will leave the politics if the allegations are proven right, I would like to ask all those who are levelling allegations against me to keep their careers at stake. Here I am not talking about the Prime Minister but those in powers, ministers. Make the Maval firing inquiry report public and let the truth come out," Pawar said.
He hit out at Modi for attacking NCP chief Sharad Pawar and said the PM should have spoken instead on issues like unemployment, black money, farm distress, problems faced by Adivasis, minorities, industries.
He went on to claim that Pawar was a "god-like" figure for the NCP as well as people of Maharashtra.
"Why does a person of his stature (PM) need to look into this issue. I won't go into details of whether he has the right to comment on a family but I have never heard such statements for any PM before," Pawar said.
On PM's reference to an objectionable remark Pawar had made about a farmer's demand for dam water, the NCP leader said, "Six years ago, I inadvertently said something and that was the biggest mistake in my whole political life. I gave a written apology in the Assembly, in front of the media. I went to Yashwanrao Chavan's memorial and repented. Even after doing all this, why are old issues being dug out," he asked.
Pawar was speaking at Congress here as part of a joint campaign by his party, the Congress and other allies.