Published By: Kavya Mishra
Last Updated: May 03, 2023, 16:22 IST
Sharad Pawar talked about Vilasrao Deshmukh in the updated edition of his newly launched Marathi autobiography ‘Lok Majhe Sangati’. (PTI)
Pawar on Tuesday said at the book event that he is stepping down as chief of the NCP, the political outfit he founded and helmed in 1999
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has credited late Congress leader Vilasrao Deshmukh with having the proper understanding and maturity to lead a coalition government in Maharashtra and said he had doubts about the capability of Prithviraj Chavan under whose leadership the Congress-NCP alliance lost power to the BJP in 2014 after ruling for 15 years.
In an updated edition of his Marathi autobiography ‘Lok Majhe Sangati’ (People Accompany Me) launched on Tuesday, Pawar wrote that Deshmukh led the Congress-NCP alliance government in an atmosphere which was easy and with mutual understanding. Deshmukh’s successors Sushilkumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan carried on his tradition, Pawar noted.
But, Prithviraj Chavan’s prime target was the NCP which resulted in strained relations between the two parties, he said.
“It was felt that deliberate attempt was being made to target the NCP leaders and create suspicion about them after an economic survey report of 2011-12 said despite spending Rs 70,000 crore between 2001-2010 on irrigation, there was only 0.1 per cent increase in the irrigation potential,” Pawar said.
The former Union minister said decision-making had slowed down and that was dampening the spirit to face elections. Despite a poor showing in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, there was no sign of improvement in the Congress to face the Assembly polls that year, he added.
Pawar said even though a clean image was Prithviraj Chavan’s positive trait, he had doubts about whether the Congress leader will be able to take everyone along.
Dwelling into the past, Pawar recalled that Prithviraj Chavan’s parents Anandrao and Premlatai were in the Congress camp opposed to Yashwantrao Chavan in the party.
“Since I had good relations with Yashwantrao Chavan, I did not have cordial relations with Prithviraj Chavan’s family. Even though there were no differences or struggles between us, there was no healthy and open conversation,” Pawar wrote.
“Prithviraj Chavan’s family was known to be close to the Congress leadership in Delhi. I always felt this closeness wasn’t good for running the coalition government in Maharashtra. After an initially positive start, he forgot that NCP was an ally,” he added.
Springing a surprise, Pawar on Tuesday said at the book event that he is stepping down as chief of the NCP, the political outfit he founded and helmed in 1999.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)