Washim: NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday attacked the ruling allies BJP and Shiv Sena over their respective pre-poll yatras, saying they undertook the mass outreach initiatives as their government "failed" to perform.
He also alleged that opposition leaders were being lured and threatened to join the ruling parties. "Why are you taking out the yatras if you think your government has performed? These (the yatras) mark the failure of your government," Pawar alleged, without naming any party.
The former deputy chief minister made the remarks at a press briefing in Maharashtra's Washim district on the sidelines of the NCP's ongoing pre-poll 'Shivswarajya Yatra'.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis began his mass outreach campaign, 'Mahajanadesh Yatra', on 1 August while Shiv Sena's Aaditya Thackeray launched his 'Jan Ashirwad Yatra' on 18 July.
However, both the leaders later suspended their campaigns in view of the devastating floods in Sangli and Kolhapur districts of western Maharashtra earlier this month. Fadnavis is set to resume his yatra from Wednesday.
Pawar claimed that unemployment and crime rate was increasing in the state. "Under this government's watch, the debt against the state has increased to Rs 5 lakh crore," he said while calling for electing the NCP to buck the trend. He alleged that the opposition leaders were being "lured and threatened" to join the ruling parties.
Notably, several MLAs and leaders from the opposition joined the ruling parties this year. These included Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Kalidas Kolambkar of the Congress and NCP MLAs Shivendrasinh Bhosale, Sandip Naik, Vaibhav Pichad and Pandurang Barora.
Referring to it, Pawar said, "We were in power for 15 years. But, we never tried to defect people from the opposition parties to our fold. What's happening in Maharashtra now has never happened in the state before." The BJP was wooing only those leaders who could win the election, he claimed, observing that such a practice was "detrimental" to the democracy.
Updated Date: Aug 20, 2019 13:46:10 IST