Jalgaon (Maharashtra) : Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Friday said he “enjoys” the Opposition’s criticism — a day after he was bombarded on Twitter with a series of 14 stinging posts by BJP’s Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis.
“I enjoyed reading those (14) tweets. I am accused of minority appeasement and caste politics. The NCP’s policies are not based on such things. I don’t give much importance to the criticism,” said Pawar with a mischievous glint in his eyes, making it clear he cared little for the Opposition’s repeated assaults.
Pawar — who was accorded a hero’s welcome here on Friday morning — said he was more concerned about the unity of the state which is in ‘danger’ than the Opposition barbs at him.
“Maharashtra always enjoyed a tradition to resolve all political differences amicably. Today, there are apprehensions that social harmony and unity are under threat,” Pawar pointed out.
He reiterated that no matter whatever happens, Maharashtra’s unity must remain intact and there should be complete harmony among all religions, castes and languages.
The 81-year-old NCP supremo’s observations came after 3 days after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray demanded a ban on loudspeakers in mosques in the state by May 3 or he would counter by blaring Hanuman Chalisa.
Referring to Fadnavis’ allegations of a ’13th blast’ during the Mumbai serial explosions on March 12, 1993, Pawar said it was in the interest of society and to ensure that Hindus-Muslims should not get divided.
He recalled how, after visiting the blast sites, it emerged that the explosives used were from Pakistan with the involvement of outside elements, and how the panel, ‘Justice B.N. Srikrishna Commission’ had lauded his statement as it prevented build-up of any communal tensions in Mumbai.
“However, those who don’t understand the implications of such issues resort to these kind of statements. So, there’s no need to take any note of it,” Pawar said dismissively on Fadnavis’ serial-tweets raking up the 3-decades old matter.
In a counter-attack at BJP and Fadnavis, he said those who are frustrated at losing power in Maharashtra are now attempting to regain by using any methods, including letting loose central probe agencies against the Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders here.
Fadnavis had targeted Pawar, accusing him of coining the term ‘Hindu terror’, statements on ‘The Kashmir Files’, allegedly supporting questionable groups, appeasing minorities and polarising society on communal lines.