"Sharad Pawar is the leader who can bring every party on the same page", says the MP on NCP chief
In an exclusive interview with Supriya Sule, a Member of Parliament (MP) from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), our correspondent discusses development, jumla sarkar and Sharad Pawar.
Q. In the last five years, the opposition has called the Narendra Modi-led NDA government a "jumle baaz sarkar". Despite the strong mandate in 2014, do you think the Modi government failed in its policy?
A: People gave Modi ji a strong mandate across state and central levels, but it's sad that they failed everywhere. What have they done in the last five years? Have they improved the status of education or opened any new colleges, any new hospital as part of the ‘vikas they were talking about? Kaunsa vikas hua? Inflation increased, electricity rates increased. Even medication costs increased by four percent across the country. Anganwadi workers or Asha workers don’t get justice in this tenure. They have done only demonetization — a move that failed to bring back black money and also failed to create 2 crore jobs for youngsters. Voters also did not get Rs 15 lakh in their accounts.
Q. However, NDA won a few elections after demonetization.
A. Recently, they lost three major states — Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Q. Will this election be more challenging?
A. I always take elections as a challenge, I never become overconfident and try to give my 100 percent. You have seen my parliamentary performance as well. Even Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan praised my performance so for my constituency.
Sharad Pawar is the leader who can bring every party on the same page. But we have seen in Mahagathbandhan that the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress coalition may not work out.
Q. Sharad Pawar has been in active politics for over 50 years. Do you think Pawar ji would be a prime ministerial option for Mahagathbandhan if BJP and Congress fail to touch 272?
A. We are not thinking about the PM post. We don’t have any personal agenda.
Q. PM Narendra Modi started his first rally in Maharashtra by mentioning corruption cases against NCP. How will you overcome this tainted image?
A. Has he spoken about development in his speech? In the last five years, he has only targeted NCP and Congress. But has he spoken a single word on development work undertaken bu his government in the last five years?
Q. Do you think 2019 would be the election of development vs religion?
A. We always talk about development. BJP is running its personal agenda. This is the first time in the history of Maharashtra politics that leaders are attacking families. When people become personal, it means they don’t have issues to discuss.
Q. What is your view of the Shiv Sena-BJP coalition?A. It is an alliance of convenience for those desperate for power.