MUMBAI: Describing former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a cultured gentleman, the one who usually took care that his decisions would not attract bitterness, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as effective and ruthless when it comes to implementing a step.
Pawar made this observation during an interview given to a news agency ahead of assembly election in Maharashtra.
“Vajpayee, while taking any step, would usually take care that there was no bitterness people had more respect for him. But as far as result-oriented work is concerned, Modi is perhaps different from him,” Pawar said.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is not perceived as a result-oriented and effective chief minister, Pawar said and added that Fadnavis did not take any initiative to resolve problems faced by farmers and industries in the state.
“The state leadership has to take the initiative and find solutions when such a situation looms large. I don’t see the contribution of the present chief minister on that front,” Pawar said.
Over the nationalism narrative being built by the BJP, Pawar said that though the BJP benefited in the Lok Sabha elections from the sentiment that developed among people after the Pulwama terror attack, the people are in mood for a change in Maharashtra.
“Despite top BJP leaders raising the issue of abrogation of Article 370 in the Maharashtra poll campaign, I do not see it resonating with the common people at the grass-root level,” he said.
The veteran leader, however, categorically said that the NCP has no complaint about the abrogation of Article 370 and is also not opposed to it.
On the switching over of some former ministers and MLAs from the NCP to ruling parties, Pawar said it has given his party an opportunity to field young faces in the polls.
“In 1999 (When NCP was formed) we had many youngsters who were made ministers and they performed well. Now the generation has changed and we will have to bring the change. The biggest benefit of what has happened in Maharashtra is I can now bring in the new leadership. The young generation is getting attracted towards us in a big way,” Pawar claimed.
While referring to a statement of senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde that both Congress and NCP have gone weak, Pawar said that the Congress is not weak and is working aggressively. He also said that the party if had a tall leader from Maharashtra at the national level, it could have beaten the BJP’s argument that the party has already lost the perception battle.