New Delhi: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday sought to draw a parallel between Narendra Modi government’s second anniversary ‘blitz’ and the ‘India Shining’ advertisements of the erstwhile NDA government in 2004 even as he expressed confidence of Congress bouncing back to power like in the past.
BJP’s ‘India Shining’ advertisements ahead of 2004 general elections had evoked controversy over alleged use of public money and for glossing over a variety of social problems, including poverty and social inequality. “(Narendra) Modi has been claiming that all problems in the country have been resolved now. He claims that the country’s prestige has gone up in the eyes of the world. He wants Congress-mukt (Congress-free) India. “He needs to once again check the history. The country got freedom only with the thoughts of Gandhi and Nehru. The country could be kept strong and united only due to the thoughts of Gandhi and Nehru,” Pawar said.
He was addressing a party meeting while campaigning for its nominee, Vasant Davkhare for the Legislative Council elections next month. “It is said that Rs 1,000 crore are spent just on the advertisements to mark completion of two years of the Central government. They claim success on all fronts. But it is not the fact. “Earlier also the advertisement of ‘India Shining’ was done. But what happened? The Congress government under the leadership of Manmohan Singh came to power. The common man has now realised the need to reform (government). They are now thinking towards that..” Pawar said.
The Maratha strongman, whose party was part of the previous Congress-led UPA governments at Centre and in Maharashtra, said Modi’s victory in 2014 was just a “blip”. “Earlier also, the Congress lost power but the citizens of the country ensured that it staged a comeback within few years. Modi should not not forget this fact,” the veteran politician said. He said parties can come to power only with the thoughts of Nehru and Gandhi.
The election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from the Thane Local Authorities constituency will be held on June 3. The poll was necessitated as the term of Davkhare, the sitting MLC and the deputy chairman of the Council, is ending on June 8. Davkhare is facing challenge mainly from Shiv Sena’s Ravindra Phatak.
Taking a dig at Shiv Sena for reportedly shifting its Thane corporators to Goa to prevent any poaching ahead of the poll, Pawar said, “Goa is near Kankavli”. Kankavli in coastal Sindhudurg district is the Assembly constituency of Congress MLA Nitesh Rane, the son of senior party leader and former Shiv Sena member Narayan Rane.
Pawar said he was sure of Davkhare’s victory as the latter has done “exemplary work and his relations with everyone are cordial”. He said Davkhare will manage to secure required votes. NCP state unit president Sunil Tatkare and Narayan Rane also spoke on the occasion.