As BJP ministers in Maharashtra and at the Centre face charges of corruption and impropriety, NCP on Wednesday called for forging a united front against the saffron outfit and providing a viable alternative to the people.
NCP President Sharad Pawar described as "unfortunate" the revelation of corruption in BJP-led government in Maharashtra which is yet to complete a year in office.
The Maratha strongman said the BJP, which once prided itself as a ‘party with a difference’, today stands "exposed".
"Within one year (of coming to power), the party has been exposed and (BJP) supporters have started feeling they have been deceived.
"Practically every week people are watching misuse of power by this ruling party. I think we all have to work together and provide a viable alternative not only to save Maharashtra but India," the former Union Minister said during a two-hour online chat with social media users.
Replying to questions, Pawar said his party’s stand has always been to fight against the BJP and its ideology.
"We want to take along all secular parties. But, during the last Assembly elections (in Maharashtra), Congress decided to take a different route and a pre-poll alliance (with NCP) did not materialise.
"But, now in view of the poor state of agriculture sector and miserable condition of farmers, both parties have decided to work together in the legislature. A proposal to this effect came from Congress and a meeting of leaders of both parties happened yesterday. It has been decided to work unitedly on farmer issues," the ex-Agriculture Minister said.
Asked about lack of simplicity and probity in today’s politics, the 74-year-old veteran politician advised public representatives against vulgar display of wealth, saying people don’t like it.
On senior BJP leader L K Advani’s remarks about Emergency, Pawar said he has known the former Deputy Prime Minister for several years and his words should be taken seriously.
"He speaks after much thought. He has experienced the Emergency during which he went to jail. So if he sees the possibility of Emergency again, his words should be taken seriously," Pawar said.
He spoke on the need to improve the NCP organisation in Mumbai, which will see civic polls in early 2017, and other urban areas in Maharashtra. "Fifty per cent of the State is urbanised and NCP needs to focus on urban issues."
During the two-hour chat, Pawar answered a number of questions related to Maratha reservation, demand of Dhangars (a shepherd community) for inclusion in the ST category and contemporary issues related to the state and the country.
The former Chief Minister responded to 4,794 questions during the chat on a popular social networking site which saw participation from over 2.63 lakh people, NCP said.