Communal elements across the country felt emboldened after the new government took power at the Centre, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar alleged on Sunday.

“A specific class has captured power in centre, resulting in the spread of communal fever across the country. Certain communal elements who were sidelined till now, feel that the power is with them,” he said, without naming anyone in Mumbai, while speaking on the15th anniversary of the party.

He cited the examples of recent attacks on the houses of minorities and the killing of an engineer from Pune at the hands of alleged activists of the Hindu Rashtra Sena. Two weeks ago, violence erupted in many parts of the state after the abusive photos of Shivaji Maharaj, Sambhaji Maharaj and late Bal Thackeray went viral on the internet.

“Keeping a certain section of the society under threat will never take you to the path of development,” he warned, asking the NCP activists to stand in solidarity with the weakest section of the society.

Mr. Pawar also objected the actions of Mumbai's former commissioner of Police, Satyapal Singh and former army chief, V K Singh. Both have won the elections from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “It clearly means that while working as government employees, they were supporting a certain ideology. We need to be extremely careful while appointing officers on such sensitive positions,” he said.

The party also launched its campaign for the upcoming state elections on Sunday.

Commenting on the assembly elections in Maharashtra, he said that the results will be different from that of the Lok Sabha. NCP managed to win only four seats in the state, while its alliance partner the Congress won only two seats in the state, which was historically considered as the Congress bastion.

“Modi cannot be the factor here. State results can never be guessed right from Lok Sabha results,” he said, adding that the chief ministerial candidate will be decided only after the assembly elections.

Rubbishing reports about his return to state politics, Mr. Pawar said that he was happy in the Rajya Sabha.

Highlighting the major issues responsible for the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections he said that non-availability of electricity and failure in solving the issues of traders in the state, were the major causes. “The state government also needs to take a decision on pending issues of educational reservations for Muslims and Marathas,” he demanded.

Taunting the party leaders for losing touch with party's grass route activists, he said that the people have shown them their place once. “Don't force them to do it repeatedly,” he said.

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