MUMBAI: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday indirectly blamed the Congress for the humiliation suffered by the alliance in the Lok Sabha polls.
“The Opposition told (the people) some wrong things. But those who should have replied to the charges failed to do so.
“It sent out a wrong message to the people. We also had to face its effect,” he told an NCP meeting here.
According to Pawar, through a sustained campaign the Opposition had succeeded in its efforts to build public opinion against the previous Congress-led UPA Government.
“The people had expressed their displeasure about the Union Government and big party in the government. The efforts to turn the public against the government had been going on for the last two years. Agitations were held in Delhi against corruption. Mahatma Gandhi’s followers staged a hunger strike. It was a ploy to corrupt the people’s mind. We collectively faced its consequences,” he said.
The criticism by the Maratha strongman is being seen as a tactic to corner the Congress by creating an impression that the party had failed to gauge the public mood. Apparently, it is also meant to put pressure on the Congress to accept the NCP demand for more seats in the Assembly elections.
However, Congress general secretary Mohan Prakash refused to react to Pawar’s comments. “I don’t react to alliance partners’ comments,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NCP has replaced its state president Bhaskar Jadhav with his baiter Sunil Tatkare.
A tainted minister, Tatkare is known as a staunch Ajit loyalist. And he had been accused of setting up dummy firms to mask his financial transactions.
He was also in the dock in connection with the irrigation scam. But a probe panel headed by water expert Madhavrao Chitale cleared him of any wrongdoing. On the contrary, the committee had pointed fingers at Ajit for the several irregularities in the irrigation sector.