Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Sunday said he would not lead the anti-BJP front and was not interested in becoming the chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Power further said that the Congress could not be excluded from any initiative aimed at giving an alternative to the BJP at the Center.
“I am not going to take any responsibility for leading a multi-party front against the BJP,” Power told reporters in Kolhapur, western Maharashtra.
Power further said that he would not lead the UPA, which is currently run by the Congress. “Recently, some youth activists of our party (NCP) passed a proposal to me to become the chairperson of UPA. But I am not interested in that position at all. I’m not going to get that. I will not take that responsibility, ”the former Union minister said, adding that if asked about his position, he would be asked to lead the anti-BJP bloc.
If an alternative (BJP) is to be offered, I am ready to cooperate, support and strengthen such a bloc, “said Power.” We are doing it.
“Some information should not be ignored when it is said that the opposition should unite. Mamata Banerjee’s TMC is the strongest party in West Bengal and they enjoy the support of the people. At the same time, the regional parties are strong in their respective states, “said Power.
He said that although the Grand Old Party was not in power at present, there was a Congress presence in India. “You will find Congress workers in every village, district and state in the country. The reality is that the Congress, which has a wide presence, must be taken on board when giving an alternative (to the BJP), the NCP chief said.
On the question of BJP leader Nitin Gadkari’s statement that the Congress needs to be strong, Power stressed the need for a strong opposition party for a healthy democracy. If only one party is strong, it will be like Putin (Russian President Vladimir). He and the Chinese president are determined to lead their country as long as they live. I hope India should not have such a Putin, he said.
Sneering at the BJP-led central government, Power said there were allegations that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was being used to extort money. “Before and after the operation (conducted) there was talk of reconciliation (with ED officials). If this is true and the government is not controlling the agency, then the Center should respond if anyone asks if they are involved in corruption, added Power. He said inflation is a big problem in the country. He said fuel prices were rising every day during the BJP rule, which was not only affecting the lives of ordinary people but also contributing to inflation and high transport costs.
“I am not saying that the price of fuel has not been increased before but now it is being increased every day. This is a major problem but the government is looking at it differently. Speaking about “The Kashmir Files”, Power said that the movie was made in such a way that people of other religions get angry. He reiterated that VP Singh’s government, not the Congress, was in power at the center at the time of the expulsion of Kashmiri scholars from the valley.
Mufti Mohammad Saeed was then the Home Minister of India with the support of BJP. A section leaning towards Pakistan then started attacking Muslims who wanted to stay with India and also Hindus. It was the responsibility of the then ruling party to protect these people. But instead of protecting them, they told the Hindus to leave the valley, ”Powar claimed.
He said the film was not based on truth but would promote racism and hatred. “If this national film is promoted by the head of state and his party starts distributing free tickets, it only means they want to divide the people and get a political mileage,” said Power Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP without naming names. He said the situation in Gujarat was worse than in the valley (during the post-Godhra communal riots in 2002).
“A lot of people have lost their lives but I have never heard the then chief minister of Gujarat come forward to explain,” Pawar told Modi with a veil that he was the chief minister of Gujarat at the time of the riots. Talking about Self-Esteem Farmer Paksha (SSP), Power said that no party should go out of its way to great development. “If they (SSPs) have any misunderstandings, it is our responsibility to dispel their suspicions,” he added.
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