NCP leader Supriya Sule has questioned the presence of several central ministers and senior BJP leaders from across the country to campaign for the Maharashtra Assembly polls when Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is confident of an easy win. Addressing a rally at Kalyan town in Thane district of Maharashtra on Tuesday night for NCP nominee Prakash Tare, she dubbed the BJP's demand for the Bharat Ratna honour for Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar as an "election gimmick".
Targeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who has been addressing a number of rallies in the state to campaign for the BJP, Sule sought to know why he did not pay a visit to Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli in August when the districts were ravaged by floods after heavy rains. "When the Chief Minister says there is no fight at all for the BJP in Maharashtra, what is the need for so many senior party leaders, including CMs of various states and Union ministers, to campaign in Maharashtra?" she asked. "This shows the BJP is not sure of its victory," the Lok Sabha member from Baramati said.
Hitting out at the BJP over its demand of the Bharat Ratna for Savarkar in its poll manifesto, Sule, who is the daughter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, said it was nothing but an "election gimmick". Sule said she had earlier in the Lok Sabha sought the highest civilian honour for social reformers Savitribai Phule and Mahatma Phule for their contribution to society, and even presented a memorandum of her demand to Fadnavis. She accused the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena of "ignoring" several burning issues in the state and diverting people's attention from them. In her speech, she lauded the work of the late NCP leader R R Patil towards the development of the state, especially the cleanliness campaign undertaken by him.