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Ajit Pawar should have left dais or corrected PM after criticism of Sharad Pawar, says Anil Deshmukh

Nagpur: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar should have left the dais in protest in Shirdi or corrected Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he questioned NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s contribution to the farming community, said former state minister Anil Deshmukh on Friday.

Deshmukh was referring to PM Modi’s address in Shirdi on Thursday where he performed puja at the revered Saibaba temple and inaugurated a slew of developmental projects.

“Those doing politics of vote in the name of farmers have made you yearn for every drop of water. Some people in Maharashtra only did politics in the name of farmers. A senior leader of Maharashtra served as the country’s agriculture minister. I personally respect him, but what has he done for farmers?” Modi said, without naming Pawar.

The NCP founder served as the agriculture minister when the Congress-led UPA government was in office at the Centre (2004-14). Modi said when Sharad Pawar was the Union agriculture minister, farmers had to be at the mercy of middlemen.

Speaking to reporters in Nagpur, Deshmukh, who belongs to the Sharad Pawar faction of the NCP, said Ajit Pawar was sitting on the dais when Modi made the statement against their party founder.

“Ajit Dada should have left the dais (in protest) or given proper information to PM Modi so that he could correct his statement (against Sharad Pawar),” said Deshmukh.

The NCP leader said PM Modi has in the past praised Sharad Pawar for his contribution to the farming community.

Deshmukh alleged that Modi has now changed his stand ahead of the elections and demanded that the PM correct his statement with regard to Sharad Pawar.

The NCP split on July 2 after Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde government.

(Published 27 October 2023, 12:54 IST)

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