His supporting comments for PM Manmohan Singh over the Supreme Court verdict in the 2G scam notwithstanding, NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar took potshots at CM Prithviraj Chavan, former close aide of the PM, on his recent comments against the NCP.
However, he cautioned his party's ministers to abstain from verbal attacks on leaders of Congress, NCP's coalition partner in the state government.
Reacting to Chavan's barb that the NCP was born out of personal ambition of a few leaders, Pawar said his party has witnessed growth with sheer public backing and members' efforts.
"Neither is the NCP run by some deputed people its leaders are self-made, nor have they set their eyes on the north or south," Pawar said. In yet another repartee, Pawar said he does not take advice offered by people who do not enjoy popular mandate.
'Take it easy'
Pawar then advised restraint to his ministers while criticising the alliance partner. His advice follows recent wordy duels involving Dy CM Ajit Pawar and Home Minister R R Patil with Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Industries Minister Narayan Rane and Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil.
Rane had in a recent public meeting in Kudal, Sindhudurg criticised Ajit Pawar for quoting figures related to Pune's rising crime rate.
The NCP chief asked his ministers to avoid personal comments against Congress leaders because they were part of a coalition government which they have to run even after the elections.
When his reaction was sought on Deshmukh's comment that NCP was Congress Enemy No. 1, in a cryptic reply Pawar said Congress was NCP's main ally.