Will Ensure Sharad Pawar Retires From Politics After Polls, Says BJP’s Chandrakant Patil

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Maharashtra Polls: State BJP chief claimed Sharad Pawar will have to retire after results are declared


Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil today said they would “permanently retire” Nationalist Congress Party or NCP chief Sharad Pawar from his social and political life after results of the October 21 assembly elections are declared.

Addressing an election rally for Shiv Sena candidate Prakash Abitkar in Radhanagari tehsil in Kolhapur district, Mr Patil took a jibe at Sharad Pawar’s party, which is hit by defections.

“We will retire Sharad Pawar permanently from social and political life after results of assembly elections are out,” he said.

Attacking Mr Pawar, a veteran of more than five decades, is part of a poll strategy of the BJP brass in a bid to belittle his political legacy.

Notably, senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday said his party and the NCP will “come together in the future”.

Mr Pawar had formed the NCP after quitting the Congress in 1999, following differences with Sonia Gandhi.

Sharad Pawar is currently spearheading the campaign for his crisis-hit NCP, addressing rallies in which he is attacking the BJP over various issues.

Last month, the Enforcement Directorate or ED registered a case against Mr Pawar, his nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and others, in connection with the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam.

The electoral battle for all the 288 seats in the state is mainly playing out between ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and the Opposition bloc comprising the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party or NCP.

Chandrakant Patil is contesting his first assembly election from Kothrud in Pune city. His challenger is Kishore Shinde of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) who is backed by the Sharad Pawar’s party.

“The Congress-NCP combine had planned fielding a strong candidate against me from Kothrud assembly segment. The truth is that they could not even find a single candidate from their own party. I will comfortably win from Kothrud,” Mr Patil said.

Counting of votes will be taken up on October 24, following which the result will be declared.

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