Pune : NCP leader and Lok Sabha candidate Supriya Sule has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was targeting her father Sharad Pawar during election rallies in Maharashtra just to garner headlines.
Sule, seeking re-election from the family bastion of Baramati in Pune district, said Modi has no issue to highlight and hence he is making personal remarks against Pawar, his family and the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party).
The PM, in his election rallies in Maharashtra, has been speaking about internal affairs of the NCP and the Pawar family. He had accused Pawar of drawing inspiration from the “Delhi model” of dynasty.
“Modi is really in a crisis mode when he criticises us and says he is targeted because he is (from) a backward (class). Do we say such things,” she asked while talking to PTI.
Asked about the BJP’s attempts to make a dent in her constituency, Sule said she was flattered as a woman that top leaders of the saffron party are working to defeat her.
“If they wanted to defeat me, they could have put some one to work on the ground,” she said.
“There is very little difference between my normal routine and election campaign. Campaigning is always fun. I am always on the road normally except during Parliament sessions.
“I am asking people to vote for me. Whereas my opponents were missing for four years and 11 months and suddenly surfaced during elections.
“My opponent has changed this time but that doesn’t mean anything to me. I look at ideology and not the personality,” said Sule, who is contesting from Baramati for a second time.
“I flattered as a woman that all powerful men in the country are putting up their might in Baramati now,” she said.
Hitting out at Modi for his critical comments against her family, she said ,”It is unfortunate that Pawar and his family are being targeted. Maharashtra elections have never been personal.
“They have always been about policies. But, if Pawar isn’t targeted, how will Modi get into headlines in Maharashtra since he has no issues to speak of?”
Sule said for Modi the last election was about development and sought to know what happened to that agenda.
Sule said unemployment among the educated people was a very big challenge and drought was also an important issue, but these matters are getting lost in the election din.
“Those in power are only obsessed with elections and are insensitive. They are in continuous election mode,” she charged.
Sule asserted agrarian crisis and water shortage were important issues that need to be dealt with seriously.
Targeting the PM for seeking votes in the name of Pulwama martyrs, she said, “It is unfortunate he was riding piggyback on somebody else’s sacrifice. This is very sad.”
Hitting out at opponents for speculating about a rift in the Pawar family after initial hesitation by Pawar to field his nephew Ajit Pawar’s son Parth from the Maval seat, Sule questioned, “Have they put CCTVs in our homes?”
“The Pawar family will never see a political division.
Politics is not a family Inc. There are workers involved,” She said.
To a question on the BJP’s criticism that the NCP and the Congress do not have a face to lead the opposition in the campaign, Sule said this was not a valid criticism.
“Our leaders Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil, Dhananjay Munde, Chhagan Bhujbal are travelling all over the state to canvass for candidates.
“OK.. we don’t have a face and you (BJP) have…. has this helped to curb price rise, tackle educated unemployment and farm crisis?
“Have you resolved all these issues since you have a face (Modi at the Centre and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra)?” she asked.
Asked why her father had declined to contest the Lok Sabha polls after first announcing to do so, she said, “He has won 14 elections in his life.”
Asked about less number of women getting tickets to contest polls, Sule said reservation was necessary to enable women to come out and contest in large numbers.
“If a joint session of Parliament can be convened for GST, then why not for women’s reservation bill?” she asked.
Sule said she misses serious political debates.
“When I travel during campaigning. I try check what people are watching on TV.. it is either IPL or entertainment channels. Nobody is following television news regarding elections,” she rued.