BY calling Prithviraj Chavan as a weak kneed and spineless Chief Minister, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – the coalition partner of Congress- has added a new dimension to the already on going war of words between the two parties. NCP State President and former minister Madhukar Pichad while addressing a public meeting at Nanded on Monday said, “If you want to see how a powerful chief minster can function, let Ajit Dada Pawar become the one and we will show you and the people of the entire state”.
Pichad did not spare the Maharashtra PCC Chief Manikrao Thakre either. Launching a frontal attack on him the NCP leader said, “Thakre does not have social consciousness nor is he politically educated”.
These strong expletives from the top NCP leader came in the wake of Thakre’s statement that the NCP has more criminals than Congress. Thakre made this derogatory observation in response to Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil’s statement that Congress leaders in the state had criminal links. Thakre retorted by hitting back that if Congress leaders had criminal links then the NCP actually had been a party of criminals! He even went ahead saying that if a survey was conducted online by any of the television channels then the people of Maharashtra, nay entire country, would say that NCP was a party of criminals. Thakre said this while canvassing for Congress party candidates in Dahanu municipal council elections. Thakre also accused the NCP of criminalizing the politics by opening its doors to criminals.
Stung by this naked criticism, NCP top brass and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar launched a scathing attack on the Congress asking them “If NCP is a party of goons, why is Congress with them for 8 years”? Sharad Pawar’s nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Dada Pawar, who was made a ‘scapegoat’ in irrigation scam, too did not lag behind. Taking head on Congress leader and senior Minister Narayan Rane, Ajit Pawar stated that he cared a fig for such ramblings of the Congress leaders.
It may be mentioned that the NCP had been busy in ‘poaching’ Congress leaders and supporters of Rane from Konkan region to their fold since some time. Criticizing Ajit Pawar for this, Rane had called him “faulty tape recorder”.
This is the new realization that has dawned on both the ‘power-partners’ in a developed state like Maharashtra in the recent past. This means that for the past eight years Maharashtra was under the direct rule of goons and hooligans! Ajit Pawar, the strongman of NCP had once said on record that he was ‘Dada’ and always indulged in ‘dadagiri’. He dared the Congress leaders not to lose balance while criticizing NCP. “Don’t forget that the Congress government in the state is in saddle on our support. The Congress leaders should keep this reality in mind”, Pawar, who still maintained his political clout in the state, cautioned the Congressmen.
The NCP and Congress came together in 1999 and formed government in Maharashtra. Since then they have been continuously fretting and fuming against each other. In spite of this somehow they managed to keep the coalition together till date. But after the sacrifice of Ajit Pawar, the Congress seemed to have assumed somewhat strong postures and launched a diatribe against their partner in power.
A noted thinker had said that when politics is mixed with religion it makes a deadly and formidable combination. But when the gangs of goons and hooligans form alliance to rule a state, that too a developed state like Maharashtra for eight long years and enjoy the benefits of power, what should be said of this combination? Both the Congress and NCP were busy washing their linens in full public view exposing their own self. Now it is with the people to decide whether to allow them to continue in power or to throw them out lock, stock and barrel. Now, the time has come to teach a befitting lesson to such ‘goons and hooligans’, who are not at all ashamed of exposing their ‘naked desire’ to remain clinched to power on ‘popular support’. Will the people show them their real place at the earliest opportunity available?