NCP Leaders Admit 400 Paar Slogan Hurt Mahayuti in Lok Sabha Polls

NCP chief and Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar reiterated that his party will not abandon its ideology despite joining hands with the BJP

Mumbai: Maharashtra minister and leader of Ajit Pawar-led NCP Chhagan Bhujbal, on Monday said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is likely to face consequences in Maharashtra in the Lok Sabha elections as the opposition’s narrative of the saffron party changing the constitution after coming to power had negative impact on voters.

“The BJP gave the slogan of ‘400 par,’ when only 272 seats were required to come to power. The opposition built a narrative that the saffron party wanted a brute majority to amend the constitution, which instilled a fear in Dalits. The impact of that narrative was so significant that it proved challenging for us to address that concern,” said Bhujbal while addressing

“This resulted in Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarifying repeatedly that the BJP will not change the constitution. The resonance of this narrative within the electorate’s consciousness was clearly felt in the recent polling,” he added.

Bhujbal, who was considered to be loyal to NCP founder Sharad Pawar, has sided with Ajit Pawar following the split in the party. He has previously criticised the Maharashtra government’s decision to extend reservations to Marathas.

Another NCP leader Sunil Tatkare also concurred that “400 paar” s;ogan gave a wrong impression to people and it became difficult to convince them. However, he expressed confidence that the Mahayuti alliance will win maximum Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, NCP chief and Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar reiterated that his party will not abandon its ideology despite joining hands with the BJP. “The party will not compromise on its ideology no matter how big a price it will have to pay,” Pawar said.

“The ideologies of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Jotiba Phule, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar are the core of our party and we will not deviate from these ideologies, even if it means paying a hefty price for it. The best decisions for minority communities were taken during the Mahayuti government’s tenure,” he added.

The NCP leader also appealed to party workers to focus their attention on the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections saying that the ground level cadre is the backbone of the party and they should be preserved and strengthened. Elections are a test for party workers and one should not get carried away by the victory or be disheartened by defeat, he added.

Rebutting his uncle’s claim that had Chhagan Bhujbal been made the Chief Minister in 2004 the NCP would have split, Ajit said, “If the NCP had taken the post of Chief Minister in 2004, the party would have been in a position to keep the Chief Minister’s post as long as the Congress and NCP alliance remained in power. Chhagan Bhujbal, R. R. Patil and other leaders could also have become the chief minister.”

In 2004, the NCP had given the CM’s post to the Congress despite emerging as the biggest party in the state assembly. NCP had won 71 seats and Congress had won 69 seats in the 2004 assembly elections.

Ajit said the reason for Sharad Pawar giving the CM post to Congress was his experience with Sudhakarrao Naik in 1990. “After making Sudhakarrao Naik the CM, he stopped listening to Sharad Pawar within only one year. He also removed 17 people from the cabinet. All this mess started from there,” he said.

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