Mumbai, May 8 (PTI) Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) on Monday claimed Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has failed to create a successor who could take his party forward.
An editorial in Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece Saamana also claimed the jumbo committee set up to decide on the new president of NCP after Pawar announced his decision to step down included some members who were keen to go with the ruling BJP. But these members were compelled to ask Pawar to continue due to pressure from NCP cadres, it said.
Notably, the Thackeray-led faction is one of the three constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) along with the NCP and Congress.
"Sharad Pawar is like an old banyan tree in politics who had left the Congress party, founded NCP, and expanded it. Pawar is indeed an important figure in national politics and his words command respect. However, he has failed to create a successor who could take his party forward,” the editorial said.
This was reflected when Pawar announced his resignation as NCP chief, which left many (leaders) shattered to their core, it said.
“Pawar has a fair idea of people around him and their intentions. Pawar had said he would not stop those (leaders) who want to leave NCP. It (the announcement of resignation and its withdrawal which galvanised party cadres) means those who wanted to defect have temporarily suspended their plans,” the Shiv Sena (UBT) said.
The Saamana claimed the pressure mounted by NCP cadres compelled the jumbo committee set up to decide on the new president of NCP to ask Pawar to continue in the position.
Sharad Pawar last Friday decided to rescind his decision to resign as NCP chief, heeding to pleas of party leaders and cadres, three days after he announced his decision to step down.
The editorial has evoked a stinging reaction from NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal who rebuked Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, the executive editor of Saamana, which is published in Marathi and Hindi languages.
“Uddhav Thackeray has already clarified what Sharad Pawar has written in his autobiography 'Lok Majhe Sangati'. Thackeray had said he didn't want to create any problems in Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). Why is Sanjay Raut doing this? What is his problem? Does he think that the NCP shall leave the MVA? Sharad Pawar Saheb has done politics for years equal to your age,” Bhujbal said in Nashik.
He said there are capable leaders like Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule and Jayant Patil in the MVA who can ably handle whatever responsibilities assigned to them.
The editorial also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.
“The BJP is calling Pawar's resignation a political farce. But it should look at its own leader Narendra Modi who is world famous for farcical behaviour. The BJP is the only party that doesn't wish anything good to happen in other political parties,” it said.
The current BJP is formed by breaking and wrecking other political parties in the country, it alleged.
“Pawar returning to head the NCP has not only re-energised that party, but several Opposition parties in the country also felt relieved. Those who are getting ready to join the BJP should first answer the question of whether they want to live for 100 days like a lamb or one day like a tiger,” the editorial asked.
The Saamana further said people will end the political careers of those leaders who will defect and join the BJP.
"No matter how big a lieutenant is, joining BJP is like inviting trouble,” it said.
Without taking names, the editorial claimed the leaders who had ditched Shiv Sena are facing a worse situation than that of a dog living on a pile of garbage.
"There is not an iota of morality left in the BJP. People can join the BJP under the threat of ED or CBI but the sword will continue to hang on their heads for the rest of their life,” it said.
The Pawar saga also means that leaders do not represent a political party, but its workers do, it said.
"When hoards of party workers gathered outside Pawar's residence and the party office, it gave a clear message. After Eknath Shinde's rebellion, Shiv Sena witnessed the same thing. MLAs and MPs left Shiv Sena but party workers are still with the original Sena," the Saamana said.