Mumbai: After Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday raised questions on the government’s conduct on the Pulwama terror attack in which at least 40 CRPF jawans were killed last week.
Pawar said, “A day after the terror attack, we went for an all-party meeting called by the government as it is an issue of national importance, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to stay away.”
“Instead of attending the all-party meeting, the Prime Minister addressed rallies in Maharashtra and targeted opposition parties,” the NCP president said.
Regarding the electoral understanding between sparring allies BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra that was announced on Monday evening, Pawar said he was not surprised by the seat-sharing pact.
Stating that this was a forgone conclusion, Pawar said, "There is nothing new in their announcement of fighting polls together."
Overcoming their strained ties, the BJP and the Uddhav Thackeray-led party on Monday announced to contest the ensuing Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly elections together.
He said the BJP and Sena, which have been alliance partners for over 25 years, were expected to contest jointly.
"It is just that they had been vocal (against each other) only in the last few years, but they were expected to contest jointly," Pawar said, referring to frequent squabbles between the two ruling allies since the NDA came to power at the Centre and in Maharashtra in 2014.
On the status of the pre-poll understanding between the NCP and Congress, Pawar said they are yet reach a consensus on "one or two seats".
He, however, did not name the seats concerned.
Both the parties are trying to bring in like-minded parties like Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh of Prakash Ambedkar on board the proposed grand alliance, to take on the NDA.
Pawar said the NCP and Congress will hold their first joint rally in Nanded on Wednesday, which will be attended by AICC general secretary in-charge for Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leaders from both the parties.
Another joint rally of both the parties will be held in Beed in Marathwada on February 23, he said.