Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday praised Pakistan for its hospitality and said that people in Pakistan and happy but the BJP-led government at the Centre has been spreading lies about Pakistan only for political gains. "I have visited Pakistan and received their hospitality...It is a misplaced fact that people in Pakistan are unhappy. However, the present government has been spreading lies about Pakistan for their own political benefits," Pawar said.
The NCP chief made the statement while addressing a special event for minorities at NCP headquarters in Mumbai. During his address, the veteran politician also talked about issues like mob lynching and Article 370.
Pawar also criticized the Centre for abrogating Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and said that the article existed to give some special powers to people of Jammu and Kashmir. "By scrapping Article 370, the government wants to convey that they are opposing a minority state and in the process, this action of theirs will lead to more terrorism in the Valley," Pawar noted.
During his address, Pawar also raised the issue of mob lynching and claimed that people from a particular community are being targeted in the name of 'nationalism'. "Some people are trying to express nationalism and say 'I am an Indian', but I feel that is is not necessary for an Indian to say a certain something to prove his citizenry. However, a party is unnecessarily pushing the issue due to their vested political interests," Pawar said, without naming BJP.
The NCP supremo also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for failing to visit the flood-affected areas of Maharashtra. Pawar stressed that both PM Modi and CM Fadnavis ignored their duty by not visiting flood-hit areas of the state.
Meanwhile, Pawar is scheduled to embark on a tour to Maharashtra from September 17 in the wake of resignations of several senior leaders from the party in the last few days. During the first phase of his tour, Pawar will focus on the districts of Marathwada and western Maharashtra. NCP has witnessed a mass exodus in the recent past as senior leaders including Satara Udayanraje Bhosale and former state president Bhaskar Jadhav recently submitted their resignations in order to join BJP and Shiv Sena respectively.