NCP on Monday dared Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to contest the Lok Sabha election against Supriya Sule from the Baramati parliamentary seat.
Addressing a press conference, NCP's state chief Bhaskar Jadhav launched a blistering attack on Uddhav for targeting Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar at a rally at Shirur in Pune district on Sunday.
Uddhav had said that Pawar would lose his deposit if he contests from the Shirur parliamentary constituency. "It was uncivilised behaviour on part of Uddhav to target a senior leader like Pawar, who has already said he is not in the fray for Lok Sabha elections," Jadhav said.
"Instead, Uddhav should contest against Supriya Sule from Baramati. If he does not dare to do so...he can choose to contest Assembly elections by contesting against either of us," Jadhav said, with NCP state working president Jitendra Awhad by his side. Jadhav and Awhad are NCP legislators from Chiplun and Mumbra constituencies, respectively.
Entering the electoral fray will make Uddhav understand and realise the blood and sweat of the party cadre, Jadhav, a former Shiv sainik himself, said, adding that Uddhav is "incapable" of providing the aggressive leadership, which the Shiv sainiks are used to.
Continuing the ire against Shiv Sena president, Jadhav said civilised behaviour is not expected from Uddhav and Shiv Sena which does not respect senior leaders and women workers.
He highlighted humiliation of former state Chief Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi at the Dussera rally last year and complaint of former mayor Shubha Raul and corporator Sheetal Mhatre about women being ill treated in the Shiv Sena.
"In fact, when Thackeray's estranged son Jaidev wanted to join the NCP, it was Sharad Pawar who decided not to get him in the party as the move would hurt Bal Thackeray in his old age," Jadhav said.
Jadhav charged that Uddhav was losing his grip over the organisation.
"Six sitting Shiv Sena MPs were in touch with the NCP, but wanted our party to go alone in the Lok Sabha elections. Their constituencies were in Congress quota, so they wanted us to fight elections separately so that they could be fielded. However, we decided that our alliance with Congress would continue," he said.