Hitting out at Sharad Pawar for forging a pre-poll alliance with the Congress, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday said that the Nationalist Congress Party chief has missed the chance to 'bury' the Congress in Maharashtra.
"On one hand, you say that a Maharashtrian should become the prime minister and on another, you hurry to forge an alliance with the Congress," Thackeray said in an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana.
"Why could not Pawar show the daring that Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad have shown in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, saying Congress should not dabble in their states," Thackeray asked.
The Sena chief added that Pawar should explain to the people of the state as to how a Maharashtrian will have a go at the PM's post.
"Like Emperor Aurangzeb was buried in Maharashtra, Pawar had a chance to bury the Congress in the state but he missed it," Thackeray said.
He claimed that, "Former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh is angry that he had to demit the CM's post due to Pawar."
Pawar's strategy was to ensure that a weak leader comes at the helm of affairs in the state and he has succeeded, the Sena chief said, without naming Deshmukh's successor Ashok Chavan.
Pawar forced his party colleague R R Patil to quit as deputy chief minister in the aftermath of the terror attack on Mumbai in November last year.
Lauding Deshmukh, Thackeray said that Deshmukh was not the type of leader who would keep quiet after losing power. "When he is not in power, he works with the party's organisational set-up and makes people aware of his existence," Thackeray said.
Deshmukh wanted the Congress to contest all 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra on its own and was in fact carrying the list of 48 Congress candidates in his pocket, claimed the Sena chief.