Pawar U-turn on Modi at joint rally with Sonia | india | Hindustan Times
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Pawar U-turn on Modi at joint rally with Sonia

NCP chief Sharad Pawar tore into Modi for being an 'overeager bridegroom who wishes to consummate the marriage even before it happens' and boasting about his administrative skills.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2014 00:47 IST
Sujata Anandan

NCP chief Sharad Pawar had embarrassed the Congress by predicting NDA would get a majority and for advising Narendra Modi should not be harangued for the Gujarat riots after the courts declared him innocent. But Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not betray any discomfiture while addressing her first joint rally with him at Lakhni village in Maharashtra’s Bhandara district.

Neither did Pawar, albeit momentarily reticent, as he tore into Modi for being an “overeager bridegroom who wishes to consummate the marriage even before it happens” and boasting about his administrative skills. He also did a U-turn by raising the Naroda Patiya massacre in 2002. “Despite repeated calls from former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri, Modi did nothing to save him and the others. That proves his agenda is to target a particular community. We must never give Maharashtra in the hands of such a man.’’

Pawar and Gandhi were campaigning for the former’s party colleague and Union minister Praful Patel. On the dais was Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chauhan too.

The NCP chief seemed eager to toe the Congress line after having opposed the food security bill in the past. Local party leaders had earlier labelled him as the man who had written off the loans of 80 crore farmers and brought them relief last season.

Both Pawar and Gandhi underscore the beneficiary programmes the UPA government had initiated for the poor but their focus was on communalism besides development. “The Congress is not just a party but an ideology, and while the opposition wishes to divide the society, the Congress and NCP believe in unity and taking all sections of the society along,” Gandhi said.

The thunder, however, was stolen by dalit leader Jogendra Kawade, a new entrant to the Congress-NCP alliance. With the rusticity villagers relate to, he described Modi’s eagerness to become PM as akin to naming a child before it is born.