Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “remaining silent” on sensitive issues like the gruesome Kathua and Unnao rape incidents.
He further censured the ruling BJP government, remarking that its leaders had an “utterly regressive attitude” towards women in general.
“It was said of [former] Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that he used to speak little. But Prime Minister Modi rarely speaks anything on issues that really matter,” said the NCP chief at a working committee meeting of party members held in the city.
Criticizing the politics of BJP leaders as “silly” and “puerile”, Mr. Pawar said that BJP leaders were joining rallies to save the perpetrators of the Kathua crime.
Speaks of alliance with Congress
At the working committee meet, which saw the election of former Maharashtra Home Minister Jayant Patil as the NCP’s new State President, Mr. Pawar made overtures to his estranged allies, the Congress, for contesting the 2019 Parliamentary and Assembly polls in unison.
“We are eager to ally with the Congress…but they should spell out their intentions clearly,” Mr. Pawar said.
Prior to the 2014 Assembly polls, intrigue between the BJP and the NCP had resulted in the crumbling of the hitherto unbroken polar alliances in Maharashtra, the Sena –BJP (since 1989) and the Congress-NCP (since 1999).
The NCP, weighed down under a cloud of corruption, had eagerly offered unsolicited outside support to the then minority BJP government which had gained a majority following the Assembly poll results while its traditional saffron ally, the Sena, had dithered.