Aurangabad: There is a lot of resentment against the BJP-led government in Maharashtra and only a Pulwama-like incident can change this sentiment ahead of the elections, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said on Friday. He was addressing a press conference here after attending a party workers' meet.
"There was anger against the Narendra Modi government before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. But the Pulwama attack changed the entire situation," Pawar said.
At least 40 paramilitary personnel were killed in the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in February this year, prompting the government to launch airstrikes against a terror base at Balakot inside Pakistan's territory. The airstrikes are considered to have boosted the Modi government's popularity.
Pawar said he was seeing anger about the state government before the next month's assembly polls. "Only another Pulwama attack-like situation can change people's mind," the former defence minister said.
"We are trying to bring secular forces together (for polls). The Congress and the NCP have come together. We are trying to take Bahujan Vikas Aghadi, Samajwadi Party and other smaller parties with us," Pawar said.
He added that the NCP was willing to join hands with the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, but the Congress was not ready for that. Talking about an exodus of leaders from his party, Pawar said these leaders said they were joining the ruling BJP or Shiv Sena to ensure development of their constituencies.
"But during my career of 52 years, I was not in power for a long time. Yet it did not hamper the development of Baramati (his former constituency)," he said.
"During Modi government's tenure people learnt about (existence of) enquiry agencies like ED and CBI. I have worked with many prime ministers, but such misuse (of agencies) was not seen earlier," Pawar added.
On the economic slowdown, Pawar said there should be a policy decision to attract investment, but no such step is being taken.