We don't fight with kids: Sharad Pawar on Devendra Fadnavis's jibe about weak Opposition

The NCP patriarch was speaking at a campaign rally at Ambejogai in Beed district.

Published: 18th October 2019 09:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2019 09:28 PM   |  A+A-

SharadPawar

NCP chief Sharad Pawar (File photo| PTI)

By PTI

BEED/PANDHARPUR: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday hit back at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over his jibe that `there is no wrestler to fight with' in the Maharashtra Assembly polls, saying one doesn't fight with "kids".

The NCP patriarch was speaking at a campaign rally at Ambejogai in Beed district.

"The chief minister says their wrestler is in the poll battle but there is no wrestler from the opposition in sight."

"There is this organisation called Maharashtra State Wrestling Association, and its president's name is Sharad Pawar," the former Union minister said.

"I stand behind all the wrestlers, and he is telling us about wrestlers. We don't fight with kids," Pawar, 78, said.

If there was no contest, why Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are holding rallies in the state, he asked.

He himself was not contesting, but leaders of the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena cannot make a single speech without mentioning him, Pawar said.

The NCP chief also hit out at Shah for repeatedly asking what did Pawar do for Maharashtra, and listed his decisions such as giving 50 per cent reservation to women in local governing bodies and renaming Marathwada University after Dr B R Ambedkar.

The only answer the BJP has for every issue including unemployment and agrarian crisis is "abrogation of Article 370", Pawar said.

The NCP was not opposed to the scrapping of the provisions of the article which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, but people's concerns needed to be addressed, he said.

He also reiterated the charge that "not even an inch of work" has been carried out for constructing Shivaji Maharaj's memorial off the Mumbai coast.

Similarly, the work on Ambedkar's memorial in central Mumbai's Dadar also has not made any headway, Pawar said.

Addressing a rally at the temple town of Pandharpur, Pawar accused the government of using agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against political rivals rather than criminals.

The ED recently named Pawar in a money laundering case in connection with the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam.

Pawar said he was named in the case despite not being a director or even a member of the bank.

He had decided to visit the ED office in Mumbai on his own on September 27, but was requested by police officials to drop the plan, he said.

"They said I should not do that or else it will lead to law and order issue. I said alright. But I said do not try to deter us using the ED. We are not weak. Be it your ED or anything else, we will not keep quiet till we turn it 'yedi' (mad)," Pawar said.

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