Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Partys (BJP) attacks on the Nehru-Gandhi family and subverting national institutions did not go down well with the voters who rejected the party.
Speaking to mediapersons on his 78th birthday, Pawar said the BJP indulged in “a very vicious campaign” in the five states, even making personal attacks on the Nehru-Gandhi family.
“This was not approved by the electorate… The modern generation has never seen Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi. They have only witnessed what happened in the past 10 years. This is the reason they rejected outright such personal attacks on these personalities and wiped out the BJP in all the states,” Pawar said.
He added that the Centre has attempted to undermine various institutions in the country and did not spare even the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
“It is indeed a matter of serious concern… The people have adopted the ballot box method to choose Congress and express their unhappiness with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
In view of these developments, he urged the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party to join the opposition United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
Dodging a question on whether Congress President Rahul Gandhi would become the Prime Minister if the opposition won the 2019 election, Pawar countered: “When Rahul himself has indiated he is not in the race for the PM’s post, why is the media so concerned?”
The Maratha strongman and a three-time Chief Minister of Maharashtra and who has also been a union Minister many times, Pawar is now a Rajya Sabha member. He has not lost a single election since 1967.
Starting his political career as a youth leader with the Congress in the early 1960s, he left the party in 1999 and launched the NCP, which is allied with the UPA, both in Maharashtra and at the centre.