MUMBAI –The impact of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ has been proved by the outcome of the recent Assembly elections in Karnataka, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar said here on Monday.
He also reiterated his apprehensions that owing to the Karnataka results, the general elections are likely to be postponed, but did not elaborate on this.
Pawar was speaking to mediapersons and responding to a query on the effect of Gandhi’s BJY 5-month-long completed in 2022-2023 from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
The octogenarian leader said that the need of the hour was to build an effective alternative leadership to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the country.
“I am not going to contest… So I am trying to bring together all the Opposition parties together to provide a viable option to the BJP before the masses,” said Pawar.
Referring to the questioning of state NCP President Jayant Patil by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday, Pawar slammed the government for hounding opposition political leaders by the blatant misuse of central investigation agencies.
“10 leaders of the NCP are currently facing action from the ED and other agencies. On the other hand, there were so many complaints against Param Bir Singh (ex-Mumbai Commissioner of Police)…. That should also be considered,” said Pawar.
Citing the example of his senior party colleague and former state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, he said nothing emerged out of Singh’s complaints of alleged corruption, but he (Deshmukh) had to unnecessarily spend 13 months in jail.
The Maratha strongman said that maybe the BJP has “certain expectations” from the NCP (for such harassments), “but we are not going to satisfy them”.
Discussing the seat-sharing issues reportedly plaguing the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies – Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena-UBT – Pawar quashed all media speculation to make it clear that so far the matter (of seat-sharing) has not been discussed by the three parties.
“We are all working unitedly. The MVA partners will soon sit together and discuss the seat sharing for the upcoming BMC elections,” he said. -IANS