The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has lashed out at the Centre for its refusal to provide security to the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) T-20 cricket matches that were to be held this month.
“I understand the Centre was not in a position to provide security. But I feel that in a country like India, if we are not going to perform our normal duties because of threat from outside, it is not correct,” Pawar told Hindustan Times during his campaign at Kolhapur.
Following the refusal of the Centre and Congress-ruled states to provide security as they were clashing with the poll schedule, the tournament was shifted to South Africa.
The controversy has created bitterness between the allies, Congress and NCP. Pawar has kept silent till date, but now, a week before IPL begins, the former BCCI chief said: “We can’t be cowed down by terror threats.”
“During the Second World War when London was bombed, Churchill ensured that business went on as usual; schools and offices remained open,” he pointed out.
He also spoke about the IPL matches in Jaipur after the blasts. “During last year’s IPL matches, there were blasts in Jaipur. When she [former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje] asked whether to cancel the matches, I said nothing doing. She took correct steps and provided security. The matches were held successfully.”
Expressing displeasure at Congress’ reaction to his plan to attend a rally with Third Front constituents last week, he said he would campaign in Orissa on Wednesday. “We [NCP] take our own decisions.”