Sharad Pawar takes U-turn, slams Narendra Modi for Gujarat riots

Last Updated: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 19:04

Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who had recently deprecated Narendra Modi`s condemnation over Gujarat riots, on Saturday took a U-turn and targeted BJP`s PM candidate for "mass murder", drawing sharp criticism from the opposition party.

"The Chief Minister of a neighbouring state speaks about his development agenda...What is development?...Is it bringing all-round development in the lives of the poor and bringing smile on their faces?

They speak of changing the face of the country but the entire country has seen how mass murders took place," Pawar said addressing a meeting to discuss the status of minorities, without naming Modi.
Pawar slammed Modi`s development model and accused him of ignoring certain sections of the society.

"These people are asking for complete power... But their attitude is to ignore certain sections of the society," Pawar, Union Agriculture Minister, said.

Pawar had recently said there was no need for a debate on the 2002 Gujarat riots after courts had ruled on Modi`s role during the communal conflagration.

"If courts have given their verdict, then the question of holding a debate on it does not arise. We accept the court`s order and there won`t be any debate on it," Pawar had said.

Pawar`s criticism of Modi drew a sharp response from BJP whose spokesman Prakash Javadekar said the NCP chief has the habit of making communal statements ahead of elections.

"For four years nine months, Pawar talks like a secularist. However, when the elections come close, he becomes a communalist. The NCP leader has a pecularity to make communal statements ahead of the elections," Javadekar said.
Pawar also criticised former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh for quitting IPS to join BJP.

"Till the other day, he was in charge of law and order of the city and suddenly one finds he has joined BJP. Recently, a top official of the Ministry of Home Affairs (Home Secretary RK Singh) also joined communal BJP," the NCP chief said.

"..Ideology is not framed overnight, those in the administration are expected to be fair and impartial in a secular country. These people are part of administration for 20-30 years and suddenly (they) join a political party," he said, adding the presence of such people in government could be "dangerous".

"I have no objection to them joining politics but their presence in government is dangerous...All secular parties should think about this," he said.

Javadekar also took a swipe at Pawar for his criticism of Satyapal Singh, saying the Maratha strongman was unhappy as Mumbai`s former top cop had not joined NCP.

"Till the other day, he was in charge of the law and
order of the city and suddenly one finds he has joined the BJP. Recently, a top official of the ministry of Home Affairs also joined the communal BJP," the NCP chief said.

"..Ideology is not framed overnight, those in the administration are expected to be fair and impartial in a secular country. These people are part of administration for 20-30 years and suddenly (they) join a political party," he said.

Pawar said the presence of such people in government could be dangerous. "I have no objection to them joining politics, but their presence in government is dangerous...All secular parties should think about this," he added.

BJP, however, took a jibe at Pawar, saying the NCP leader has a peculiarity of making "communal" statements ahead of elections.

"For four years and nine months Pawar talks like a secularist. However, when elections draw closer he turns communal," BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said.
On Pawar criticising the former Mumbai police commissioner for joining BJP, Javadekar said, "Pawar is unhappy as the top cop did not join NCP".

PTI

First Published: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 19:04

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