“It failed to defend its policies strongly”

Union Heavy Industries Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel said on Saturday that some of the “self-goals” made by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government could have been “easily” avoided.

Speaking to reporters at a ‘meet the press’ programme at the Nagpur Press Club, the NCP leader said: “We should have defended our policies strongly. For example in the 2G spectrum issue, the policy decision was very good, but we failed to defend it strongly.

“Sea link incomplete”

Without mentioning Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Mr. Patel criticised “the slow decision-making” in Maharashtra government. “It creates a wrong impression on the public. We need to take quick decisions to complete projects on time. But that is not happening. Half of the Mumbai Sea Link project is still incomplete because of slow decision-making,” he said.

Asked about the tussle between the Congress and the NCP in Maharashtra over seat sharing, Mr. Patel said: “We will contest 22 seats or even more and the party has begun preparations. Not a single seat will be given up. We don’t bother about the statements coming from the other side. We will contest with the Congress in Maharashtra and hope to have an alliance with the Congress, the RJD and the LJP in Bihar. In the rest of the States, we will be on our own.”

Reacting to the recent incidents involving the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Ministers in Delhi, Mr. Patel said the “honeymoon” seemed to be getting over early.

“We thought the honeymoon will last for at least six months but the recent incidents in Delhi have exposed the real face of the AAP,” added Mr. Patel, who is planning to seek re-election from the Gondia-Bhandara constituency in Maharashtra for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.