The war of words between the Congress and the National Congress Party (NCP), ruling partners in Maharashtra, escalated on Sunday with Union agriculture minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar taking a dig at his ally.
Reacting to Congress state chief Manikrao Thakre’s remark that NCP has goons as its members, Pawar told the media at Karad: “If the NCP is a party of goons then why has the Congress kept alliance with us for eight years. Thakre knows [whose party has more goons] well, as he was the minister of state for home for a few days.”
Exchanges between the two parties began after state home minister and senior NCP leader RR Patil recently came down heavily on the Congress saying it had become “a pain” for the NCP.
“Because of the Congress party's corrupt practices and its leaders going to jail, the Congress has become a pain for the NCP,” Patil had said while addressing an election rally at Dahanu in Thane district.
Thakre had responded to Patil’s comments, saying that if a survey was carried out on which of the two parties had more goons as members, people would say the NCP.
The allies have been at loggerheads since NCP leader Ajit Pawar stepped down as deputy chief minister in September over allegations of irregularities in irrigation projects during his tenure as the state’s water resources minister.