NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday said there is a lot of resentment against the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, and only a Pulwama-like incident can change this sentiment ahead of the elections. "There was anger against the Narendra Modi government before 2019 Lok Sabha polls. But Pulwama attack changed the entire situation," Pawar said while addressing a press conference after attending a party workers' meet.
On February 14, at least 42 CRPF personnel were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 30 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district that also left many critically wounded.
More than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Latoomode in Awantipora in south Kashmir.
"We are trying to bring secular forces together (for polls). Congress and NCP have come together. We are trying to take Bahujan Vikas Aghadi, Samajwadi Party and other smaller parties with us," Pawar said.
He also said that the NCP was willing to join hands with the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, but the Congress was not ready for that.
Earlier, Sharad Pawar had made controversial remark after praising Pakistan for its hospitality. “I have visited Pakistan and received hospitality there. Pakistanis believe that even if they can’t go to India to meet their relatives, they treat an Indian as their relatives,” Pawar said on Saturday during a special event for minorities at party headquarters in Mumbai.
"People here say Pakistanis are facing injustice and are unhappy but it is not true. Such statements are being said only for political gains without understanding actual situation in Pakistan. Ruling class here is spreading false things for political benefits,” Pawar added.
The NCP had managed to retain its 2014 tally of four LS seats in Maharashtra. Recently, former ministers Ganesh Naik, Sachin Ahir and Jaydutt Kshirasagar, MLAs Shivendrasinh Bhosale, Sandip Naik and Vaibhav Pichad to name a few switched their allegiance to the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena.
The NCP is fighting the upcoming Assembly elections in alliance with the Congress and some smaller parties. In the assembly elections held in 2014, the Sharad Pawar-led party had won 41 out of the total 288 seats.