NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday took another swipe at the deserters who have joined the ruling camp in Maharashtra ahead of the assembly elections "in the name of ensuring development" in their constituencies.
Speaking at a rally in Satara in western Maharashtra, Pawar wondered what were these leaders doing when the Democratic Front (DF) government, comprising the Congress and the NCP, was in power from 1999 to 2014.
"Those who have left the NCP to join the BJP have given the excuse of development of their people and constituency. I want to know, when Congress-NCP government was in power for 15 years, some of these defectors had served in the Cabinet...what were they doing during that period?" he asked.
Pawar singled out former NCP leader Udayanraje Bhosale, a direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who joined the BJP recently after resigning as MP from Satara.
"Satara has the legacy Shivaji Maharaj and out of respect, I had given him (Udayanraje) the ticket to contest from the NCP. But unlike Shivaji Maharaj, who had refused to bend before Delhi in his time, he (Udayanraje) did the otherwise," he added.
A string of NCP leaders, including legislators and former ministers like Ganesh Naik, have crossed over to the BJP and the Sena.
Maharashtra is going to polls on October 21. Counting of votes will be held three days later.
In the run-up to polls, Pawar, who is currently touring the state, has amplified his attack on turncoats.
Earlier, he had dubbed them "cowards" who "lacked self-respect".
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