BJP misusing power, we know how to answer: Sharad Pawar

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is misusing power but we know how to answer them, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar on Saturday said, in a stern warning to the ruling allies apparently miffed with the poaching of the party’s leaders ahead of Maharashtra assembly elections.

Speaking to reporters in Pune, Pawar said according to him, nothing special has been happening and that he was not concerned over the resignations of NCP leaders. “The BJP is misusing power and we know how to answer them. Those who have changed their loyalties fear they cannot win elections unless they have the support of the Central and state governments. Such people have become imbalanced. Those in power are using their might to poach,” the Maratha strongman said.

Pawar claimed he was told that the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department were being used to scare them. “In 1980, we had won 60 seats. However, when I was on a foreign tour, almost all of them were poached. When i returned, we only had 6 legislators left. But I was not worried even then because in the subsequent polls, all those who deserted us lost and we got 60 seats again. Therefore, we have experienced all this and know how to answer them and we are concerned about rebuilding our party,” Pawar further said.

In a major setback to the NCP, its Mumbai unit chief Sachin Ahir earlier this week left the party to join hands with the Shiv Sena. Barely a couple of days later, his party colleague Chitra Wagh too submitted her resignation.

NCP’s its Akola MLA Vaibhav Pichad too decided to join the BJP. His father and senior NCP leader Madhukar Pichad has announced that he too will join the saffron fold along with his son. Pichads are a prominent figure in the Ahmednagar district and their exit is likely to cause a severe dent in the NCP there. Along with the son and father duo, their supporters have also decided to quit the party and join the BJP. According to sources, Vaibhav Pichad will resign as MLA on July 28 and will join the BJP on July 30 or 31.

Rohit Pawar, grandnephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, on Saturday hit out at the leaders, who have quit the party and said the party will not be finished by the exit of some people and will bounce back from the crisis.

“There is a big difference between the words opportunity and opportunist. The party gave them ample of opportunities. But they are now quitting the party for their own self-interest. Even today they are being labelled as NCP leaders. But they should realise had they not been from the NCP, nobody would have given them importance. They might have personal reasons to quit, but the party does not get finished by the exit of some people. It will definitely emerge from this crisis,” Rohit Pawar said.

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