MUMBAI: On Saturday, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said that he was "terribly afraid" as to what PM Narendra Modi, who once called Pawar his mentor in politics, would do next. While addressing a rally at Daund in Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, Mr. Pawar said, "Modi says he came into politics holding my finger. But now I am terribly afraid, because what this man will do, nobody knows," the former Union minister said.
In 2016, amid a function in Pune, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said he came into politics "holding Pawar's finger" while sharing the dais with the NCP supremo in function. Mr. Pawar, as a senior minister in the UPA government, always helped him when he took up matters related to Gujarat with the Centre, Modi had said. AT Saturday election rally, Mr. Pawar noted that BJP chief Amit Shah recently visited Baramati and Union minister Smriti Irani was scheduled to address a public meeting in the constituency. Why "the entire country" was interested in visiting the place, he wondered.
In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Shah had vowed to snatch Baramati from the NCP this time. The BJP is asking what the UPA government did, but it fails to answer what it did in the ten years it was in power, Pawar further added.
"Modi held seven (election) rallies in Maharashtra and the issue at all those rallies was Sharad Pawar," he said, referring to the prime minister's frequent swipes at him. Mr. Pawar also said that while he himself never did politics on agricultural issues, the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in the state did not create a good industrial set-up for the sugar sector.