Barring Assam, BJP will lose polls in four other States, says Pawar

The NCP chief slams Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for not fulfilling constitutional duties.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday claimed that barring Assam, the BJP will face defeat in four other poll-bound States and the election trend in the five States will give a new direction to the country.

Speaking to reporters in Baramati town of Pune district in Maharashtra, Mr. Pawar, whose party is an alliance partner of the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government, also accused the Centre of misusing its power in poll-bound West Bengal.

The Assembly elections in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry (Union Territory) will be held in March-April this year and votes will be counted on May 2.

“…It is wrong to talk about results of the five States today as people of these States will take the decision. As far as Kerala is concerned, the Left parties and the NCP have come together and we are sure that we will get a clear- cut majority,” he said.

In Tamil Nadu, people will support DMK and its chief M.K. Stalin, and they will come to power in the State after the polls, the former Union Minister said.

“In West Bengal, the Centre, especially the BJP is misusing power and trying to attack a sister (referring to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) who is trying to fight for the people of the State,” the NCP chief alleged.

The entire State has rallied around Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee since it is a matter of Bengali pride and self-respect, he said.

“I have no doubt that the Trinamool Congress will retain power under the leadership of Ms. Banerjee,” he said.

Mr. Pawar further said he knows the situation in poll- bound Assam, and as per the inputs received from his party people, the BJP, which is currently in power there, is in a “good position” compared to others.

“In nutshell, the BJP will retain power in Assam, but will face defeat in other poll-bound States, and other political parties in those States will come to power. I am confident this trend will give a new direction to the country,” he said.

Asked about the arrest of Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze by the NIA in connection with the recovery of an explosives-laden vehicle near the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, Mr. Pawar dubbed the issue as “local” and did not comment, saying it is not related to the State’s policies.

Earlier in the day, when asked if Mr. Pawar was upset with Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and sought his removal, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in Mumbai said, “Mr. Pawar is the guiding light of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). It was because of him this (Mahrashtra) government was formed.”

To a question on Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari not clearing names recommended by the State Cabinet for nomination as MLCs under the governor’s quota, Mr. Pawar said it is the responsibility of the Governor to implement the Cabinet’s recommendation.

“In the history of Maharashtra, the State has not seen a Governor who has not followed the responsibility given by the Constitution. However, the present Governor has done that magic, which is unfortunate,” he said.

Mr. Pawar said when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the latter had complained about hurdles being created by the then Governor.

“Today, the same thing is happening in Maharashtra and the Centre is merely becoming a spectator, which is worrying,” he said.

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