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Sharad Pawar leads anti-BJP rally at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan

The Halla Bol Andolan is a part of the NCP’s statewide agitation against the BJP-led government.

mumbai Updated: Mar 01, 2018 00:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
NCP,Mumbai,Azad maidan
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar will lead a Halla Bol Andolan at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on Wednesday.(HT File Photo)

A week after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, in an interview in Pune, cleared his intentions of forming an alliance with the Congress; he participated in the ‘Halla Bol Andolan’ against the Bharaitya Janata Party (BJP) in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Pawar said that people have grown tired of the BJP government and now want back the ‘bad days’, taking a jibe at the phrase ‘Achhe Din’ coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2014 general elections campaign.

“The BJP government has failed at every front. Inflation is on rise and so is unemployment. People are losing their jobs. The law and order situation is worsening every day. Women are not safe anymore. The common people are fed up with the BJP government and are demanding their ‘Bure Din’ (bad days) back. The situation can be changed with a change in the government. The NCP has started this agitation to create awareness among people and unite them,” said Pawar, while addressing the rally at Azad Maidan.

Targeting PM Modi over the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, he said, “PM Modi had promised corruption-free India by saying “na khaunga na khane dunga” (“I will not indulge in corruption and won’t let others do so”). But Nirav Modi has fled to the US and our government is unable to arrest him. At the same time, the government has changed its policy of helping and rehabilitating the small industries that are in serious trouble.”

The Halla Bol Andolan is a part of the NCP’s statewide agitation against the BJP-led government over issues such as the agrarian crisis and unemployment. The first and second legs of the protest were held over three months in Vidarbha and Marathwada. The third leg of the Halla Bol Andolan ended in Jalgaon, north Maharashtra, on February 21.

In the next phase, starting April, the NCP plans to hold protests in western Maharashtra and Konkan, after the budget session of the state legislature is over, said Sunil Tatkare, state NCP president.

The party leadership has faced criticism for its cordial relations with the BJP leadership. In the past, it had extended unsolicited support to the BJP to stabilise its government in the state, after the saffron party failed to win a majority in the 2014 Assembly elections. However, lately, as the next Assembly polls come closer, Pawar has been distancing himself from the BJP and drawing closer to the Congress and Rahul Gandhi.

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 12:19 IST