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Dear Ajit Pawar and Raj Thackeray, can't we move beyond the politics of threat and intimidation?

Friday, 18 April 2014 - 5:53pm IST | Agency: DNA
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During the current election campaign, we have seen the ugliest of faces of all the major parties in the country. Every time a neta stoops low, someone else seems determined enough to stoop lower.

Ajit Pawar, while campaigning for his sister Supriya Sule in Baramati, reportedly threatened the villagers, "My sister will not lose the election if one village votes against her as we have the entire Baramati town backing us. I get to know from the machines (electronic voting machines) who voted for which party. If I come to know that Masalvadi has voted against the party, then you will never get water, bear that in mind." However, this is not the first time he has mocked the quagmire of the people in drought-affected region.

Ajit Pawar had made a despicable remark about Bhaiyya Deshmukh, a farmer from a drought-hit area in Solapur, who was on a hunger strike at Mumbai. “He has been fasting for the last 55 days. If there is no water in the dam, how can we release it? Should we urinate into it? If there is no water to drink, even urination is not possible," Pawar had said.

Not long ago, Sharad Pawar, in an interview, said, ‘No need for farmers to commit suicide. They must show courage.’ The subtext of that statement was, ‘But I will continue to be the blighter I have been all my life’. In that sense, Ajit Pawar seems to be carrying on the insensitive legacy of his uncle and taking it to another level.

Another gentleman, who is carrying the legacy of his uncle is Raj Thackeray. When he formed his party, people genuinely had hopes. But as the time has gone by, those hopes have been incarnated into disappointment. One cricket commentator had said while describing Shahid Afridi’s career, ‘When he burst on to the scene, he was seen as a young, vibrant, and exciting prospect. 10 years down the line, he is still that young, vibrant, and exciting prospect. He has not matured at all.’

In 2009 elections, Raj Thackeray had contested 11 seats and this time around, he is contesting 10, which makes one wonder whether his party is growing or shrinking. Thackeray’s speeches too, have been reduced to mere entertainment. A bit of mimicry, a few jokes. Akin to his uncle Bal Thackeray, his speeches are akin to David Dhawan’s films. They just cannot be taken seriously. In his recent speech, he commented how Balasaheb used to drink only the soup sent by him and in Balasaheb’s last days, he was made to eat oily food. It sounded pathetic in the context of Loksabha elections.

The blue print promised by him has been ‘just around the corner’ for years. Everybody talks about it but no one has actually seen it. Moreover, MNS’s decision to back Modi and, at the same time, put up candidates against Shiv Sena is contradictory in itself. In a recent interview, he said, "My support is for Narendra Modi, not for BJP." Whatever that means, it sounds preposterous.

His agitation against toll was as frivolous as it could get. He appealed to people to refuse the payment of toll and moreover, asked them to bash them up who came in their way. The so-called ‘Andolan’ on the next day started at 11 and concluded at 12. Even Pizza takes longer to be delivered. Having done all the fiasco, the toll at Mumbai-Pune Expressway is now increased by 30 rupees.




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