MUMBAI: In one of the most vitriolic war of words that has taken place between the ruling allies, Congress and the NCP, Industries Minister Narayan Rane and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar have locked horns in public.
While Rane took on Pawar over his criticism of Rane’s allegedly violent political style in his Sindhudurg district, Pawar charged that Rane had lost his mental balance. Rane also attacked Home Minister R R Patil over his handling of the Home portfolio and said that the strength of any political party did not increase through the use of police force. Attacking Pawar and Patil for their public criticism on him despite being Cabinet colleagues, the former Shiv Sainik pointed out that the law and order situation was much worse in Pawar’s district of Pune and in Maoist-hit Gadchiroli district.
Rane has also threatened to hold rallies against Pawar and Patil in their constituencies of Pune and Sangli. Not to be undone, Pawar, who like Rane, is also known for his outspokenness. “I do not give much importance to such allegations,” Pawar told reporters in Ahmednagar on Wednesday, adding that “it was nothing else except (Rane) losing his mental balance.”
Pawar said that whenever Rane did not get his way, he resorted to such intemperate allegations.
The Congress is worried at the spread of the NCP in the state and its ability to fill the anti-Congress political space, including in Rane’s home district Sindhudurg.