Lok Sabha polls: Pawar sees no anti-UPA wave; says new voters crucial
NCP president Sharad Pawar today said the political situation is still “unclear” and regional parties as well as new voters will play a crucial role
Mumbai: Denying that a strong anti-UPA wave is sweeping the country, Union Agriculture Minister and NCP president Sharad Pawar today said the political situation is still “unclear” and regional parties as well as new voters will play a crucial role in forming the next government.
Talking to reporters after filing his Rajya Sabha nomination papers here, Pawar said, “Even though the main contest will be UPA versus NDA (in the Lok Sabha polls), one has to accept the strength of regional parties in their respective states. Their help will be required for formation of the next government.”
Similarly, the highlight of this general election will be participation of new voters in large numbers.
“The winning combination will be the beneficiary of the support of new voters,” he added.
To a query on possibility of a Third Front government, Pawar said, “it was too early to speak about it”.
He expressed confidence that people will vote a strong and stable government in the interest of the country to improve and strengthen economy.
To a question on Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Maharashtra Samajwadi Party President Abu Asim Azmi’s statements supporting him for Prime Minister ship, Pawar said, “let anybody say anything… I am not available.”
He said NCP contests limited number of seats and the party knows its limitations.
When asked about Congress not projecting Rahul Gandhi as its PM candidate, Pawar said the party has never projected anybody as Prime Minister before elections. To a question on whether the Congress refrained from naming Rahul as allies may object, Pawar asked, “why comment on this, when there was no
such proposal in the first place.”
Scoffing at surveys which predict a UPA rout, Pawar said in 2004, surveys predicted Vajpayee government will be voted back to power on the ‘feel good’ and ‘India shining’ slogans.
“(However) Congress-led coalition won the election and continued to be in power for ten years,” he added.
He said the growth rate was above five per cent and agriculture production has broken all records. “Cotton, wheat rice, sugar exports have improved. Agriculture imports have also gone up,” the Union Minister said.
Pawar said the Lok Sabha elections will be fought on development agenda. “By development, we mean all round agriculture, industrial, power generation among other things,” he said.
To a question on BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi speaking on development, Pawar said, “development of few areas of Gujarat does not mean development of the country. Its like saying development of Pune and Nashik means development of Maharashtra.”
Criticizing the protest dharna of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Pawar said, even though there might be a difference of opinion, it is not correct for responsible people entrusted with the task of running a government to obstruct normal functioning.
When asked about the “mahayuti” (grand alliance) of Opposition parties in the state, Pawar said, “I have heard of mahayuti but never a ‘maha parinam’ (grand results)”.
Taking a swipe on Sena sainiks tying a “shiv bandhan” thread to remain loyal to the party and overthrow the Congress-NCP government in the state, Pawar said, “this was violation of the anti-superstition act and I am waiting to see what action the government takes.”
He also said that he was seeing good change in the functioning of the state government after he criticized Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for policy paralysis. “Decisions are being taken fast and cabinet meetings are held twice a week,” he said.
When asked if the RS polls will be unopposed, Pawar said, “Both NCP candidates are in a comfortable position to get elected.”