Rahul Gandhi, the paragons of all virtues for Congress, blamed coalition
politics for price rise - giving a good fodder to BJP.
Not so curiously, the remarks left NCP and Sharad Pawar's party in anguish.
A day after Rahul Gandhi reportedly attributed 'coalition politics' for
the price rise and which seemed to target Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, NCP initially termed the remarks as signs of "arrogance"
but later sought to play it down saying the Congress
general secretary's remarks was in general sense and not against any party.
"The price rise is collective responsinility in any cabinet
government. Any statement from a senior Congress leader should
reflect humility and not arrogance,” NCP spokesman Prof D P Tripathi
waxed eloquent. But later in the day, NCP chief's Man Friday, Mr Praful Patel was fielded to do the damage control.
"Mr Tripati's statement is out of context..... I completely dissociate
myself from the remarks," he said in a clear snub to the party spokesman.
“Congress party is the principal party in the UPA. It must understand
that no single minister, including Pawar, could be held
responsible for the price rise as it is the collective
responsibility," Tripathi said.
He said personally he had always "admired Rahul Gandhi" and only felt
saddened by his remarks in Lucknow yesterday as the observation was not based on facts.
He claimed contrary to remarks made by a section of Congress leaders,
the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had complimented Pawar for handling food and agriculture. Did PM really do so?
Well, another toast of the town was Maratha strongman wants to quit.
NCP spokesman Tripathi also sought to counsel the Congress leadership saying unlike Indira Gandhi era, this is a coalition era and went onto
announce that no single party rule will be possible in the “distant”
and “foreseeable” future.
“These are the days of pluralism," Prof Tripathi said adding the essence
of people’s verdict in 2004 and 2009 general elections
was for following of “coalition course and not collision course”.
This is also a direct attack to Congress and Rahul Gandhi's sycophant loyalists - who are probably already rehearsing the crown prince's swearing in as the PM.
Contrary to Rahul Gandhi's statement on Indira era, the NCP spokesman
also said the biggest mass movement against price rise had taken place in 1974-75 when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister.
Tripathi was not alone. Another party general secretary Mr Tariq Anwar also said "I do not agree with Rahul's opinion....This is injustice to anyone because controlling price rise is the responsibility of the entire government".
“The Congress should understand what is ground reality…it’s high time.
After the Bihar elections, the Congress should know where it stands,” Anwar said.
However, later in the day, NCP vice president and Union Minister Mr
Praful Patel, however, sought to undertake a damage-control exercise, saying “I don’t think Rahul Gandhi’s statement should be read in the context of current coalition as he was replying to a general question asked to him by students. He has not criticised any party in particular".
Congress also denied that Mr Gandhi had made any statement targeting
the NCP or any other party.
Prof Tripathi had gone into temporary silence after the vitual snub from Patel.
That's Pawar's style of coalition management.