Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar dubbed deserters of NCP "cowards" for joining the ruling BJP ahead of the Assembly elections in Maharashtra. In his frontal attack, the NCP chief said that people will "show them their place" in the upcoming assembly elections.
Pawar also took a dig at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the eve of his scheduled visit to Sangli and Kolhapur, which were worst affected by unprecedented floods in early August.
"He (Fadnavis) went there (in the flood-affected areas) only once just for few hours and never visited again," Pawar said.
The veteran politician also criticised his former colleagues who have joined the BJP fold.
"They are cowards..People of Maharashtra will take care of such people in elections," he said, a day after former party leader Udayanraje Bhosale resigned as MP and joined the BJP.
"There are some people who have lost their self-respect and switched to the BJP. I think people will show them their place in the assembly elections," he said.
Pawar, who founded the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 1999 after walking out of the Congress, said he had worked in Opposition for 27 years.
"I managed to work in Opposition at times more effectively. But I do not feel like sitting with this kind of opposition (leaders)," he added.
He also attacked the NDA government over the condition of the economy.
"This government has left many people jobless. This time people will give them a strong message," Pawar added.
The NCP has been bearing the brunt of a string of defections with many party leaders joining either the BJP or the Shiv Sena.
Prominent leaders who have quit included former ministers Jaidutta Kshirsagar, Ganesh Naik and Sachin Ahir, and former state unit president Bhaskar Jadhav to name a few.