Opposition leaders on Sunday lambasted deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar for his day-long penance at Yashwantrao Chavan samadhi sthal in Karad, Satara, calling it nautanki (drama).
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray said Pawar should stop doing nautanki as he will gain nothing. “Jo boond se gayi woh haud se nahi aati [it’s useless repenting after the incident],” he said. “People have not forgotten a similar statement made by former chief minister Babasaheb Bhosale in 1982. Ajit Pawar’s comments will be remembered for the next 50 years.”
Vinod Tawde, BJP leader and leader of Opposition in legislative council, said Pawar should resign and work for people in drought-hit areas for the next one year.
BJP leader Eknath Khadse, who is leader of Opposition in state Assembly, said it was just another drama akin to that of his resignation last year. “He could not survive without power for more than 72 days. He had vowed not to return to power unless he was cleared of the irrigation scam allegations. His re-induction proved that was just show. This time too it is drama,” Khadse said.
A Congress leader, on condition of anonymity, said the action does not suit Pawar’s image. “It can’t go down well with people if Ajit Pawar or Raj Thackeray follows the Gandhian path. When a leader who describes himself a tagya [brat] resorts to such action, people don’t accept it,” he said.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan refused to get drawn into the controversy, but said all politicians need to introspect once in a while about their actions and words.
Uddhav Thackeray said people were not fools. “Today, even Yashwantrao [Chavan] would not have liked such statements, which are in bad taste,” the Shiv Sena president said.
NCP leader and home minister RR Patil appealed to the Opposition to end the row. “It is my humble request to the people of Maharashtra to drop the issue. It was unintentional and a slip of tongue. As finance minister, Ajit Pawar has taken several steps on drought,” Patil said. “Many political stalwarts have committed such mistakes in the past, but nobody has resigned.”