Coming out in support of Shiv Sena's protest against Pakistani players in the upcoming Hockey India League, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday said the beheading of a soldier by Pakistani troops was an insult to 125 crore Indians.
Pawar was talking to reporters at the NCP office after Shiv Sena workers from Nashik district led by former Sena district chief Sunil Bagul joined the party.
"Majority of Indians agree that people-to-people contact between the two countries in the field of sports and art should be maintained despite differences. But the recent incident (beheading) was an indecent act, an insult to 125 crore Indians.
"Pakistani cricketers came here to play, just as actors and singers from there work in Hindi films. But Pakistani hockey players have come after the recent incident," Pawar said, when asked about Sena's protest against Pakistani players in the Hockey India League.
Pawar also expressed displeasure over the abrupt transfer of ACP Vasant Dhoble last week pending inquiry into the death of a hawker during an eviction drive.
"Those who work efficiently should not be transferred in such a manner. I have read that the hawker died of brain haemorrhage. The CM has already said Dhoble has been transferred to allow a fair inquiry. The NCP is not opposing his stand, but we want the inquiry to be completed at the earliest and Dhoble should be reinstated if he is not at fault," the NCP leader said.
He said that Dhoble was transferred because of pressure from Congress MP Priya Dutt and some legislators.
When asked if induction of Sena workers from Nashik district was an NCP strategy to break up Shiv Sena, he said the party had nothing to do with the Sena's internal feud.
"We are not in the business of breaking up other parties," he said, adding that there are disgruntled elements in all political parties.
He said the NCP's aim is to strengthen its units in all districts.
Bagul said the Shiv Sena had dismissed its Nashik unit after the civic elections debacle last year, when he was Sena district chief.
"There was an internal feud between old activists like us and the new ones, and their style of functioning. The coterie around Uddhav Thackeray has made him inaccessible to the Sena workers," Bagul claimed.