Nothing wrong in holding poll rallies on roads: Ajit Pawar

NCP leader says he doesn't understand why silence zone rules can't be relaxed to make grounds available during polls

Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar said yesterday that if the party did not get grounds to hold political rallies, it would conduct these on the roads of the city. Pawar's comments came just days after MNS chief Raj Thackeray said the same thing in Mumbai. The NCP leader even said there was nothing wrong in holding election rallies on roads if the party was denied the use of grounds for the purpose.

Hard talk: Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar (left)
addresses a press conference along with city party unit president
Vandana Chavan (centre) at Patrakar Bhavan in the city yesterday

Pawar also asked what harm would there be if norms were relaxed for a few days at places that were silence zones so that political rallies could take place during elections. He said that after going back to Mumbai he would be talking with other members of his team on this issue and then take a decision on it.

Addressing a press meet in the city, Pawar also said he would react to Congress leader Narayan Rane's comments against him only after February 17. A few days ago, Rane had said he would hold public rallies in Pawar's home district and expose his involvement in land scams. Pawar also met people who are planning to quit the NCP and tried to persuade them to stay back.

He said his roadshows would be conducted to understand people's problems and to extend his communication with them. He said party chief Sharad Pawar's daughter and MP Supriya Sule would also be conducting roadshows in the city.

Top guns for rallies
Other NCP politicians expected to come for election rallies in the city are Sharad Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, Supriya Sule, R R Patil, Sunil Tatkare and Bhaskar Jadhav. Pawar also spoke on the controversy over the proposed Metro. "I'm sure that Metro will be underground and we will do it. We will also work on the ring road project as the top priority," he said. He also said that the party would work for the sewage treatment plants as well as cleaning and maintaining of the river in the city.

On Munde, Kalmadi
Refuting allegations made by Gopinath Munde of the BJP, he said the NCP did not need to collect crowds by giving them money. Talking about tainted Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi, he said it made no difference to him whether Kalmadi participated in the campaign or not. Pawar told the Pimpri candidates and workers to campaign only for official candidates. He said the NCP had not taken any person in the party who had a criminal background.

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