BJP losing support, playing sympathy card: Pawar

Party supremo says NCP has already taken the lead to reach out to like-minded parties to build a common platform against BJP before 2019 polls

pune Updated: Jun 11, 2018 15:11 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Pawar,NCP rally
Nationalist Sharad Pawar(left) along with party leader Praful Patel at the party’s at a rally to mark the party’s 19th anniversary in Pune on Sunday. (HT PHOTO )

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar accused the BJP government in Maharashtra and in the Centre for playing the “sympathy” card by circulating so-called “threat letters” which, he claimed, lacked authenticity.

Pawar’s remarks came days after Pune and Mumbai police claimed the recovery of multiple letters from five arrested persons for alleged Maoist links. Police claimed that the letters talk about Maoists plots to purportedly assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a “Rajiv Gandhi-type incident” during one of his road shows. Another threat letter received by the chief minister’s office targeted chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for initiating operations against the rebels.

The NCP chief while speaking at public rally on Sunday to mark the 19th anniversary and valedictory function of the party’s “halla bol” (raise your voice) campaign, said that some progressive people in Pune came together and organised the Elgar Parishad. However the government is arresting some of them by branding them as ‘naxalites’.

“Everyone knows who were behind Bhima Koregaon (violence) but instead of arresting them, those who have no connection, have been arrested and this is called misuse of power,” said Pawar.

Chhagan Bhujbal, a senior NCP leader and former PWD minister, who recently came out of jail on bail in a money laundering case, too was present at the mega event here.

Pawar said that BJP has realised that they are losing people’s support and so to gain sympathy, they are now playing “threat letters” card. “But I am sure people will not fall prey to such tactics,” he said.

“I have spoken to a senior retired police officer in CID, who told me that when such letters come, they do not go to media but to the security agencies who make sure that adequate security measures are taken,” said Pawar.

He also said that BJP’s support base is going down in the country. Making a reference about EVM, Pawar said that in Bhandara-Gondia, after NCP lodged complaints against EVMs, election commission gave in writing that 64 EVms were not working.

“They (BJP) are trying to manipulate EVMs to win the elections as they have understood that they would not be able to win the elections in a democratic way,” he accused.

He said that he is appealing all the like-minded parties barring BJP to approach chief election commission and request to discard EVMs and go back to the old method.

Pawar, while talking about building a common platform against BJP before 2019, said, “All like-minded parties should come together and NCP has already taken a lead to reach out to such parties,” he said.

First Published: Jun 11, 2018 14:55 IST