Nagpur: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday hit back at Sharad Pawar, who claimed that BJP leaders were poaching members of other parties, saying the NCP chief should introspect why people were leaving the party.
Earlier in the day, Pawar had said in Pune that Fadnavis and his ministers were working towards poaching leaders from the opposition ranks by misusing probe agencies and state-run financial bodies ahead of assembly polls.
Fadnavis claimed the BJP was “beyond running behind anyone” as the people of India were with the party and the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Replying to a query on Pawar’s statement, he said, “Sharad Pawar should introspect on why his people are not ready to stay with the NCP.”
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“The stand of the BJP is very clear. A lot of leaders from the Congress and NCP are interested in joining the BJP, however, very few will be allowed to join. Those with ED cases will not be taken. We do not need such people,” he added.
Fadnavis said the BJP did not need to pressure anybody to join. “We are beyond running behind anyone. Now people (leaders) run behind the BJP. We will take care of those who are good and work for the people,” he claimed.
Fadnavis claimed that he wanted to remind the NCP leader that many sugar factories belonging to the members of his party were helped by the government and state banks when they were in trouble.
“However, we never asked them to join the BJP. He should introspect,” he claimed.
Pawar had said that Fadnavis and other BJP leaders were “committing themselves” to poaching to poaching leaders from other parties before the assembly election.
Citing an example of the alleged misuse of financial bodies, he had said, “The sugar mill of (former MLA) Kalyan Kale in Pandharpur was in a difficult situation. The state government, by flouting norms, gave Rs 30-35 crore to it and asked him to join the BJP. Since he wanted to save his factory, he switched over.”
“The chief minister and other ministers in the state government have literally committed themselves to this work (luring leaders of other parties). They are making phone calls to leaders of other parties and asking them to join,” the NCP president had said in Pune.