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‘Did not go to jail for any of my actions’: Sharad Pawar takes aim at Amit Shah

Responding to Shah’s question, NCP chief says he waived farm loans worth Rs 71K-cr during his tenure as agri min

mumbai Updated: Sep 18, 2019 05:04 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Mumbai
On September 1, Shah had questioned Pawar’s contribution to solve farm crisis when he was the agriculture minister in the UPA government.
On September 1, Shah had questioned Pawar’s contribution to solve farm crisis when he was the agriculture minister in the UPA government. (HT FILE)
         

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday slammed Union home minister Amit Shah over his remarks questioning Pawar’s contribution to redress Maharashtra’s farm distress over the years. Pawar said those who have been in jail are now questioning his contribution.

“Those who were in jail are now asking what I have done. I want to tell them that Pawar has never been in jail for his actions,” said Pawar, at a gathering of NCP workers in Solapur district as part of his state-wide tour, which began on Tuesday.

Amid the mass exodus from his party, his tour is being seen as an exercise to rebuild the confidence and morale of NCP cadre ahead of the Assembly polls. The NCP has lost eight of its sitting MLAs, one sitting MP, besides several other senior leaders to both the BJP and Shiv Sena in the past two months. Pawar also held a meeting of office-bearers of the Solapur district.

On September 1, Shah had questioned Pawar’s contribution to solve farm crisis when he was the agriculture minister in the UPA government. “Pawar should call a press conference and give details of how much financial help he has given to Maharashtra so far,” Shah had said, in Solapur, when he attended the conclusion of the second leg of the ‘Mahajanadesh Yatra’ launched by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Pawar said he has waived loan worthRs 71,000 crore of the farmers. “Have I become too old,” he asked the gathering, adding, “I still have to send many people back home… Since the past 52 years, I am getting elected in Maharashtra, be it in Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha. I am someone who never got defeated only because of power of the common man.”

In the first phase of his statewide tour, Pawar will cover Solapur, Osmanabad, Beed, Latur, Nanded, Parbhani, Jalna, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar and Satara.

“The morale of the party cadre is at an all-time low due to failure in the Lok Sabha elections and now mass exodus ahead of the assembly polls,” said a senior leader.

“It will further help him get first-hand information on party’s position in the respective districts that will enable him to decide names of the candidates.”

First Published: Sep 17, 2019 23:54 IST

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