Days after top party leaders Tariq Anwar and Munaf Hakim’s resignations, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday clarified that he didn’t defend Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the controversial Rafale fighter aircraft deal. Addressing a party meeting in the Marathwada region, Pawar said neither he did nor he ever will support Modi on Rafale deal.
“Some people have criticised me saying I supported him (Modi). I have not supported him. I did not (support Modi) and will never (do that),” PTI quoted Pawar as saying.
The clarification from the Pawar came after NCP founder member Tariq Anwar and general secretary Munaf Hakim quit the party over his alleged support to Modi on Rafale deal. After leaving the NCP, Anwar had said that Pawar’s “clean chit” to PM Modi in the ongoing Rafale controversy left him aggrieved.
Lok Sabha MP and Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule came in father’s rescue and said he was being misquoted and said that people saying he gave a clean chit to Modi were doing it “intentionally”.
“The thing which he (Pawar) is being quoted that he has given a clean chit to Narendra Modi is not true. Those who are saying so have either not heard or seen his interview or they are twisting it intentionally,” ANI quoted Sule as saying.
The NCP chief, however, got the clean chit from the Congress party and AICC general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge defended him saying he didn’t support Modi on Rafale deal and it was his own way of questioning.
“This is not a controversy. He told me that he too has demanded a JPC and questioned how the price of the fighter jet increased. He is questioning it in his own way… people have a way of speaking… ultimately the point is he is not supporting the government view or the PM…” the Indian Express quoted Kharge as saying.