Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar’s rally in Maharashtra’s Ulhasnagar, which could be his last attempt to woo voters as India goes to vote for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from tomorrow, turned out to be a miserable failure as he was seen addressing a half-empty ground on Tuesday.
As per a report in Zee News, Pawar, who was scheduled to address the crowd at 6 pm, reached the ground three hours after the scheduled time. Workers and locals who had initially turned up in large numbers to hear his speech was seen leaving the rally before Pawar arrived at 9 pm.
Many more were seen vacating their seats, even as Pawar began his speech. Undeterred by the reducing numbers of onlookers, the NCP chief continued with his speech.
While addressing a handful of people, Pawar took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had attacked him for joining forces with the National Conference (NC).
Modi and Pawar have been taking potshots at each other after the prime minister targeted him at a poll rally at Wardha on April 1. Taking a jibe at Pawar for deciding not to contest the Lok Sabha elections PM Modi had said, “Pawar decided against contesting the polls sensing unfavorable situation. There is infighting in the NCP, the party is slipping from Pawar’s grip.”
Launching the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance’s poll campaign in Maharashtra at a public rally in Wardha, PM Modi had furthered that there was infighting in Pawar’s party, which was slipping from his control.
However, NCP supremo and former union minister Sharad Pawar had in March announced his decision of not contesting Lok Sabha election. Speaking to media persons in Maharashtra, Pawar had said he will not contest so that two of his family members: daughter Supriya Sule, and grandson, Parth Pawar could contest instead.
This decision had come as a major setback to the Congress-NCP alliance in Maharastra. Furthermore, cracks in the alliance had surfaced recently after Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, has stated that he will not campaign for NCP candidates in the Lok Sabha elections. He claimed that Sharad Pawar insulted his family. The NCP is a Congress ally and part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
In 2014, in Maharashtra, the Congress and NCP had fielded 26 and 21 candidates respectively. Of these, they won two and four seats respectively, in view of the strong BJP wave then. BJP had won 23 seats while its ally Shiv Sena bagged 18.
Meanwhile, BJP and Shiv Sena sorting out their internal rifts have come together once again to take on the Congress-NCP alliance in Maharastra. The BJP and it’s saffron ally had announced a 25-23 seat-sharing plan for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls of 2019.
Maharashtra will vote for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 in four phases. The polling dates for Maharashtra will be on April 11, 18, 23 and 29. The votes will be counted for all the constituencies on May 23, 2019. The results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 will be announced on the same day.