Accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of running a “repressive regime”, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said he was named in an Enforcement Directorate case despite being blameless, while the Supreme Court had to order a criminal trial of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Mr. Pawar’s jibes at Mr. Fadnavis came after the Supreme Court set aside the Bombay High Court order which gave the Chief Minister a clean chit in a case of allegedly suppressing details of pending criminal cases in his election affidavit of 2014.
The NCP chief said the government only indulged in pressure tactics and was least bothered about the plight of the farmers. “We have to end this dictatorial government,” he said, addressing a rally at Islampur in Sangli district.
“I have seen many elections, but this one is especially important as it an election of the youth. I have full faith that the younger generation of leaders is going to perform outstandingly well in the Assembly polls,” Mr. Pawar said.
Earlier, he accompanied NCP State president Jayant Patil as he filed his nomination papers for the Islampur Assembly constituency.
The Islampur-Walva area has been the stronghold of the Patil family for more than 50 years, with Mr. Patil’s father, Rajarambapu, having been elected from Walva (prior to its delimitation as Islampur) no less than three times. Mr. Patil, a six-time MLA, has been winning the segment consecutively since the 1990 Assembly elections, four times from Walva and twice from Islampur.
Mr. Pawar earlier also accompanied NCP MLA Rahul Mote, who filed his nomination for the Paranda Assembly segment in Osmanabad. The NCP chief suffered a major setback in Osmanabad after Padamsinha Patil, one of Mr. Pawar’s closest confidants, and his son, Ranajagjitsinha Patil, the sitting NCP MLA, quit the party to join the BJP.