Mumbai: Veteran NCP leader and a partner of the Congress in the Maharashtra government, Sharad Pawar has compared the mentality of the Grand Old Party to that of old landlords.
“I had told a story about UP zamindars, who used to have huge land parcels and big havelis. After the Land Ceiling Act, their lands shrank to 15-20 acres. They did not even have the power to maintain their havelis. Every morning, they got up, looking at the land, and said that this all used to be ours. The mentality (of the Congress) is similar to that. The reality has to be accepted,” Pawar said in an interview to the Marathi web channel Mumbai Tak.
“But we are used to seeing the old Congress. Today’s Congress is nowhere close to that. That is because the Congress has become weak; a lot of their own people have left them. If you want to create an option today by bringing everyone together, the question is, for what? I won’t say to regain power but for stability and to take the agreed development programme forward, which the Congress is unable to do today,” he added.
But Pawar feels despite weakened, the party still holds relevance. “The Congress was stronger (in the past), unlike today when they have 40-45 MPs. At that time, they had a strength of around 140. The Congress’s number only says that. But it’s the only party that is relevant in the country. It has governments in 5-7 states. The only party that has a national presence against the BJP is the Congress,” Pawar said.
About his political ambitions and parleys with political strategist Prashant Kishor, Pawar added, “”I don’t need any help from Prashant Kishor. Moreover, I don’t have any ambitions today of any post. But yes, I would like to make efforts to bring the Opposition together.”