SOLAPUR: NCP chief Sharad Pawar mocked the Shiv Sena on Saturday for its poll promise to provide a meal at Rs 10, reminding that it had, in the past, introduced 'zunka-bhakar' centres which later vanished.
Ahead of the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Sena has promised to provide a full meal to the poor at Rs 10.
At a campaign rally at Barshi in Solapur district, Pawar reminded that in the 1990s, the first Shiv Sena-BJP alliance government had started centres to sell zunka-bhakar, a rural staple, at subsidized price.
Nobody ever realised when these centres folded up and Sena workers 'grabbed' the space provided for them, he said.
"And now this Rs 10 meal scheme. Are people asking you to run the state or to cook meals?" Pawar asked.
He also referred to statements by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray that the opposition was not putting up any fight in this election.
"The chief minister said their wrestler is ready, but there is none (to fight). But you fight with a wrestler, and not with 'such' people," Pawar said with a suggestive waving of the right hand.
"If there is no strong opponent in these polls, why there is a need for nine rallies of prime minister Narendra Modi, twenty rallies of home minister Amit Shah?" Pawar asked.
"They will find out on October 24 when 'gulal' (of victory) will be applied to our candidate," Pawar added.
The only answer Shah, in his campaign speeches, is offering to people's questions about unemployment, agrarian issues, women's safety and development of villages was an abrogation of Article 370, the NCP chief said.
"From morning to night, he talks about Article 370. You abrogated it, we are happy, we support it.
But there is also Article 371 about north-eastern states (which, like 370, makes special provisions for those states). Why don't you remove Article 371?" Pawar asked.
The government which swears by warrior king Shivaji has not made any progress on the work of his memorial off the Mumbai coast, he alleged.
He also questioned Fadnavis's claim of providing Rs 50,000 crore package to farmers.
"I was Union agriculture minister, I have been roaming across Maharashtra, I could not find anything (anyone benefiting). In reality, 16,000 people committed suicide during this period," he said.
Talking about the economy, Pawar mentioned closing down of Jet Airways and claimed that ten thousand workers in Nashik industrial belt have lost jobs due to the slow-down.