The Gujarat Assembly election verdict does not reflect the mood of the country as it was along expected lines, Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar said on Thursday, adding that the defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the polls for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi prove his point.
Speaking at his party’s State executive meeting, he said that the entire power machinery was used for the benefit of one particular State, Gujarat, noting that several big-ticket projects were shifted there.
Further, the 81-year-old former Union Minister said that there was always a political vacuum in any State, which was filled by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat and the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi. “Such a vacuum exists in our State and I’m confident that NCP is capable of filling it by emerging as an alternative. We should focus to work on building the next generation of leaders,” Mr. Pawar said. He asked that the party functionaries work to unite all forces which oppose the BJP’s ideology.
Ahead of the winter session of the legislature, it was the NCP which took the lead to organise a protest against Maharashtra’s Shinde-Fadnavis government, scheduled on December 17, he said.
Speaking about the inter-State border dispute, the NCP chief said that Maharashtra’s stand on the rights of Marathi-speaking people was taken to a different level by the Karnataka government.
“Karnataka government used its machinery to supress the Marathi-speaking people and now they hold winter Assembly session in Belagavi,” he said.
In a statement, Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the BJP’s ‘record-breaking and historic’ victory in the Gujarat elections and said that big-ticket projects taken away from Maharashtra contributed to the result.
The AAP divided votes in Gujarat and that clearly benefited the BJP, the Sena chief said, adding that the Prime Minister was expected to make major announcements with an eye on the Mumbai civic polls during his visit to the State on December 11.