Allies should show restraint: Ajit Pawar

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Nagpur, Mar 5 (UNI) Criticising the Congress for what he termed 'misleading' statements over the Centre's decision to waive the outstanding loans of farmers, Maharashtra Minister for Water Resources and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar said allies must display a sense of restraint when commenting on decision of the government, wherein they share power.

Addressing a massive rally of farmers here today, Mr Pawar said that some leaders of the Congress, which shares power with the NCP at the Centre as well as in Maharashtra, were making statements about the loan waiver that were 'confusing the people.' ''The leaders should at least have some sense of propriety. After all, we are in the government together,'' he said.

The allies should at least show magnanimity since the Congress and the NCP has to keep communal forces like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena, out of power, Mr Pawar said, adding that Congress President Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar would lead the United Progressive Alliance(UPA) at the next election.

Mr Pawar said that the advertisements released by the NCP immediately after the loan waiver was announced, carried Sharad Pawar's photograph because the decision pertained to his portfolio, that is the Ministry of Agriculture. There was, therefore, nothing wrong about it, he added.

Continuing in the same vein, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil said that the Congress should have no misconception that the NCP wanted to take credit for the loan waiver. ''We don't want credit for the decision. We have not made the decision with an eye on the forthcoming polls. We have done it for the benefit of farmers,'' Mr Patil said.

The NCP and its chief, Sharad Pawar, were willing to sacrifice power for the welfare of farmers, he added.

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