Firing a salvo against Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has alleged that the senior BJP leader is in a rush to take over the country's top post.
"He (Modi) appears to be in a hurry to grab the PM's post and the power and hence BJP is posing him as a PM candidate. No party has announced a PM candidate in advance in our representative democracy," Pawar said addressing a joint workers' rally of Congress and NCP here last evening.
Slamming Modi's developmental assertions, he said the "claims of Gujarat as model of progress and development are all false as statistics indicate otherwise."
Stating that the UPA government has stood by its people, Pawar said that through the years the government has supported the farmers during every calamity.
On the occasion, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said marketing techniques and media were being used to create an illusion that the BJP is an alternative to the Congress-led UPA.
"They are trying to misguide people of the nation. I challenge the chief minister of Gujarat to compare the progress of Maharashtra and Gujarat over the years," he said.
People should not elect a candidate whose personality appears to be dictatorial, he said.
"He (Modi) seems to have hijacked his own party and is on a spree of insulting its senior leaders," Chavan alleged.
Meanwhile, Pawar said he chose senior NCP leader and state PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal to contest the Lok Sabha election from Nashik as he wants the latter to fill up his place in the Parliament's Lower House.
"I have moved to Rajya Sabha. Bhujbal is senior and the party needs a senior representative to take my place. I have hence asked Bhujbal to contest for Lok Sabha," the Union agriculture minister said.
Those present at the rally included Chhagan Bhujbal, Lok Sabha candidate from Dindori (ST) seat Dr Bharati Pawar, state revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat.