Saturday was a day of political tussle and war of words among political parties in Maharashtra. In the latest, Sharad Pawar’s NCP took a dig at the central government over the farm laws and said the ruling NDA will soon “bite the dust”.
The comment from NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tope came soon after BJP ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) walked out of the NDA. The Akali Dal, one of BJP’s oldest ally and a founding member of the NDA, had done the same a few months ago.
Taking a dig at the BJP, Mahesh Tapase said the farm laws are “draconian in nature, and one by one, the NDA partners are deserting the alliance”.
“Another ally of the BJP has decided to quit the NDA and stand in support of the farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government hurriedly enacted the draconian farm laws that were strongly opposed by the entire opposition in Parliament. Today, when farmers of the country have come together to register their protest against these laws, the RLP has shown courage to break away from the NDA and support the farmers,” Tope said.
He added that soon the remaining allies of the BJP will “have no option” but to “break away from the NDA and stand for what is right and just”.
The day started with yet another tussle over the issue of leadership of the UPA.
Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna carried an article supporting NCP chief Shard Pawar to lead the UPA. It questioned the Opposition’s strength at present and said all anti-BJP forces should come under the banner of the UPA.
At present, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of the UPA. She has held the post unopposed for nearly two decades.
Reacting to the Saamna article, the BJP quipped asking the Congress how long will it leaders tolerate “insults” from the Shiv Sena and Saamna.
Training its guns to the Shiv Sena, the BJP said it has “forgotten its identity” and was “only interested in appeasing Sharad Pawar”.
By evening, Congress leaders, including former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan, hit out at the Shiv Sena, saying the support to Shiv Sena was only on the basis of a ‘common minimum programme’.
Congress leader Naseem khan said the Shiv Sena has no right to comment on the UPA or question Congress leaders.
The Shiv Sena is yet to react while the NCP has maintained a studded silence over the comments on UPA leadership and Sharad Pawar possible role.