PUNE: NCP president Sharad Pawar Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for skipping the all-party meeting called by the NDA government in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
There was no representative of the BJP either as Rajnath Singh was present in his capacity as Union home minister, Pawar said.
Instead of attending the meeting over such a serious issue, Modi chose to address rallies elsewhere, the former Union minister said.
"An all-party meeting was called on Saturday. In fact we were told that PM Modi would chair the meeting. Presuming that Modi would attend the meeting, we all went to Delhi as it (the terror attack in South Kashmir) was an attack on the nation," Pawar told reporters here.
"Upon reaching there, we came to know that PM was not there; when 40 CRPF jawans got martyred and there was a serious situation, the PM should have been present at the meeting, but he chose to address public rallies in Dhule and Yavatmal (in Maharashtra), where he criticized us (opposition parties)," he said.
Pawar was speaking to reporters after unveiling a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji on the premise of MIT World Peace University here.
Nobody from the BJP came to the meeting, Pawar further said.
"Rajnath Singh was there, but he was there in the capacity of home minister and not as party member. It shows how serious they are about the incident," he said. Intelligence agencies had given alerts two days earlier but the government did not take necessary steps, the NCP chief alleged.
"But today we should not rake up this issue. Let's fight together. Let's protect our country together," he said.
Asked about the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance which was announced Monday, Pawar said it was bound to happen.
"For the last few months, they hurled abuse at each other and now they are holding hands. But the people of the state are mature enough and know the politics behind it. The people will give a proper reply to those who cheated them," he said.