NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday cited his mother's influence and said he would not resort to attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally, despite the latter having done so.
Launching the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance's poll campaign in Maharashtra at a rally in Wardha on Monday, PM Modi had made a stinging attack on Mr Pawar, claiming the NCP chief had withdrawn from the Lok Sabha polls as he had realised the situation was not favourable.
PM Modi went on to say Mr Pawar was losing his grip on the Nationalist Congress Party and was weakened by family feuds led by his nephew.
"Modi is launching personal attacks wherever he goes. But I will not do so as I am influenced by my mother. Personal criticism does not fit in our culture," Mr Pawar said on Tuesday, adding that the prime minister did not need to be bothered about family feuds in the NCP.
Mr Pawar was speaking at a meeting organised in Kolhapur for Swabhimani Paksha MP Raju Shetti, who is the opposition alliance's candidate from Hatkanangle, and Kolhapur contestant Dhananjay Mahadik.
Praising the Nehru-Gandhi family, he said four generations had sacrificed their lives in the service of the country. "Indira Gandhi worked for removing poverty. Rajiv Gandhi worked for bringing modernisation and technology to the country. Many people thought Sonia Gandhi would leave the country after Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, but she stayed back due to her commitment towards it," he said.
"Now the fifth generation from the family is serving the nation. The country's PM, however, continues to attack only one family," Mr Pawar said, adding PM Modi was attacking opponents to divert attention from the failures of his government.
"In Maharashtra, thousands of farmers committed suicide in the last four years. They have been suffering because of lack of fair prices for farm produce. This government came to power promising jobs but, far from creating employment, jobs have been lost due to demonetisation and GST," he alleged.
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