Frequency of communal statements on rise under BJP rule: Pawar

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday alleged that the frequency of issuing communally-charged statements in public has gone up after BJP assumed power at Centre.

Kolhapur: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday alleged that the frequency of issuing communally-charged statements in public has gone up after BJP assumed power at Centre.

"Some BJP MPs are trying to create fear by making communally sensitive statements. Who are they to make such statements?...The frequency of making such statements has gone up since BJP came to power. It is Constitution, laid down by Babasaheb Ambedkar, is the final authority and nobody is above that," Pawar said here while kicking off his party's campaign for October 15 Assembly elections.

Though he refrained from taking any names, Pawar's comment came close on the heels of allegedly provocative statements made by the BJP MPs Yogi Adityanath and Sakshi Maharaj in Uttar Pradesh.

Pawar, whose NCP is an alliance partner with Congress in the ruling Democratic Front (DF) government in Maharashtra and is at the helm for last 15 years, said that his party is contemplating a pension scheme for farmers.

"We want farmers to lead comfortable lives and that is why we are contemplating to provide a pension scheme in near future. We will also give a 75 per cent subsidy to farmers on irrigation," the NCP chief said, adding that the funds in Maulana Azad Scheme for the minority community, will be raised from Rs 500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore.

NCP has high stakes in the stronghold of western Maharashtra region where the Mahayuti (grand alliance), led by BJP and Shiv Sena, is aggressively trying to make inroads.

Addressing the rally, Pawar's nephew and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said all toll nakas in Kolhapur will be scrapped within 100 days if NCP is elected to power once again.

"Some people have been demanding that toll be waived off in the state. But I had told Cidco and MMRDA that if they give us the required money, we will scrap all toll nakas, which didn't happen. But I assure you that if we come to power in the state we will ensure all toll nakas are scrapped in Kolhapur," he said.

The issue of charging the road tax has been a sensitive issue in this western Maharashtra district with the Shiv Sena taking an aggressive stand and a toll plaza had been burnt down in the past.

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