Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have ascertained his statement about Pakistan before criticising me, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Friday.
PM Modi, at a rally in Nashik ahead of Maharashtra assembly elections on Thursday, had claimed that Mr Pawar, at a recent event, said he liked Pakistan.
The NCP denied the charge, accusing the prime minister of distorting Mr Pawar's statement.
"The Prime Minister said I have love for our neighboring country....I have been defence minister of this country. The Prime Minister should have verified my statement before criticizing me," Mr Pawar said.
The NCP chief was addressing a meeting of party workers.
"I had said that political and military leaders of Pakistan keep making false statements against India to maintain their clout in Pakistani politics. These words do not describe any love for Pakistan," Mr Pawar said.
"I will not criticise Modi further because I do not want to hurt the dignity of prime minister's office," the NCP chief added.
On Thursday, alleging that Congress leaders' comments were being used by other countries and terror outfits against India, PM Modi said, "I can understand the confusion of the Congress. But Sharad Pawar? I feel bad when an experienced leader like him makes wrong statements for votes.
"He said he likes the neighbouring country. But everyone knows where the terror factory is," the PM had said.
The NCP later released video of Mr Pawar's original remarks, where he had said that political and military establishment of Pakistan spreads hatred against India, but when he visited that country during Indian cricket team's Pakistan tour, he saw people's love for India.
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