Sena leaders should contest polls, face people: Pawar

Hitting back at Shiv Sena, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said its leaders should face the electorate rather than giving hollow orders.

Last Updated: Aug 28, 2010, 20:57 PM IST

Mumbai: Hitting back at Shiv Sena, NCP chief
Sharad Pawar on Saturday said its leaders should face the electorate
rather than giving hollow orders.

"Let them (Thackerays) contest any elections and face the
people, rather than just giving orders," he said addressing an
extended working committee meeting of the party here.

Pawar`s statement comes in the backdrop of the Sena
targeting him on plans to shift the statue of Dadoji Konddeo,
who mentored Shivaji Maharaj during childhood, from the
historic Lal Mahal in Pune.
"If you want to remove Dadoji`s statue, then replace it
with statues of Sharad Pawar and Suresh Kalmadi," Sena
executive president Uddhav Thackeray had said.

Certain political parties are engaged in biased criticism
of the NCP with sole aim of creating disillusionment among
masses who are backing the party, Pawar said in the meeting.

Pawar lauded the UPA government for doing "credible
things to improve the conditions of the farmers who constitute
a large number of the country`s population."

Under the UPA regime, India has achieved large scale
agriculture production which was never there during the NDA
government, Pawar said.

The UPA government increased central food subsidy from Rs
72,000 crores to Rs 3.55 lakh crores, he said adding the
increase in minimum support price of wheat and rice has
enabled the Indian farmer to undertake large scale cultivation
of food grains.

"This year the monsoon has been good and another good
yield is expected," Pawar said. The food ministry has been
successful in bringing down the losses in food grain over the
years," he added.

He ridiculed BJP members of Parliament for stalling the
House proceedings, demanding increase in MPs salaries. The BJP
is making an issue out of a non-issue only to distract the
people of this country, he said.
Pawar expressed satisfaction that the NCP is the "only
party which thinks seriously about environment protection" and
welcomed initiatives taken by NCP state chief Madhukar Pichad
to strengthen the party cadre by implementing various policies
for empowerment of youth and women.

The NCP will be completing training programmes for its
cadre across Maharashtra before December 1 this year.

Besides rising inflation, rotten stocks of food grains,
IPL T20 matches, Pawar`s name has been cropping up in the
proposed airport in Navi Mumbai and Lavasa Hill Station
project, over his alleged involvement through close associates
and friends.

A senior NCP leader said there have been systematic
attempts to malign Pawar`s image keeping an eye on the next
general elections.

Civil aviation minister Praful Patel, Maharashtra deputy
chief minister Chhaggan Bhujbal, ministers Ajit Pawar, R R
Patil, Jayant Patil, Lok Sabha member Supriya Sule, former
minister Vijaysinh Mohite Patil, other ministers, MPs, MLAs,
district unit presidents and office bearers were present in
today`s meeting.