Sena denies NCP’s poaching charges: ‘aim is to win hearts’
Pawar had alleged that state and Central governments were misusing investigating agencies to coerce political leaders from the opposition to join BJP ahead of Assembly elections.Updated: Jul 30, 2019 06:22 IST
Shiv Sena on Monday responded to allegations by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar that the ruling alliance was misusing state and Central agencies to “poach” leaders. The Sena said that it does not arm-twist political leaders into joining them but “wins hearts” instead.
On Sunday, Pawar had alleged that the state and Central governments were misusing investigating agencies to coerce political leaders from the opposition to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of Assembly elections.
His comments came after a number of NCP leaders – including legislator Vaibhav Pichad, Mumbai unit chief Sachin Ahir and women’s wing chief Chitra Wagh – defected to either the BJP or Sena. “Several legislators from the Congress-NCP are in the queue to join the BJP. Sharad Pawar has expressed concern over it. Pawar has alleged that ED and IT agencies are used to poach legislators. The Shiv Sena does not have ED, IT or police department in its control. Hence, these allegations do not stick with the Sena,” read an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana.
The editorial said that if the allegations were true, then NCP MLA Ajit Pawar, who is facing charges in an irrigation scam, would have been first in line to join the BJP. Switching loyalties is not new and was prevalent even during former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s tenure, the editorial pointed out.
Further, it likened the political leaders’ mass exodus to rodents fleeing a sinking ship. “Rodents and frogs leap out of a sinking ship, but the captain and other important people leave right at the end with courage. We are inducting such courageous people and the Congress and NCP don’t need to speak about it. Their parties have flourished in a similar way. Some ‘loyal’ MLAs, former chief ministers, ministers, who were elected by the Shiv Sena, have been taken by the Congress-NCP…We do not believe in poaching people. Instead, our goal is to win hearts. Those who connect with our ideology will come in our party as a Shiv Sainik and work with us,” the editorial said.
There are speculations that former deputy chief minister and senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal could soon join the Sena. However, Bhujbal has denied the allegations and said that he will stay with the NCP
First Published: Jul 30, 2019 06:22 IST