Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar is finding himself in the middle of a political furor over his remarks criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for standing with Israel in their war with the terrorist group Hamas. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma gave a bizarre response to Sharad Pawar’s comment and said it seems like the NCP chief will send Supriya Sule to Gaza to fight for Hamas.

“I think Sharad Pawar will send Supriya (Sule) to Gaza to fight for the Hamas,” Himanta Biswa Sarma told news agency ANI when asked for a response to the remarks of Sharad Pawar.

Assam Chief Minister’s jibe comes as Sharad Pawar made some remarks on India’s response to the Israel-Hamas war. The NCP chief mentioned that all former Prime Ministers of India “stood firmly with Palestine.”

“We want peace in the world. Now, there is a war going on between Israel and Palestine. The entire land is of Palestine and Israel encroached on their land. That place, land, and houses, everything was of Palestine and later Israel took over it. Israel is an outsider and the land is originally of Palestine. After encroachment, Israel was formed,” Sharad Pawar said as per news platform India Today.

“Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee all had the same thoughts about the Israel-Palestine issue. It was always the stand of the Indian government. India never stood with anyone else. India always stood with people who originally owned the land and houses there (Palestine),” he said.

“It is very unfortunate that for the first time, our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) stood with Israel, leaving the real issue over there. He neglected the real issue. We should be clear about our stand. The stand of the NCP should be clear. We stand by the people who originally belonged to that land,” Pawar added.

Political storm

The remarks by Sharad Pawar were not taken well especially with the people in BJP as the NCP chief was slammed by the party leaders and Union Minister Piyush Goyal called it preposterous statements on India’s stand on a terror attack in Israel.

“It is very disturbing when a senior leader like Sharad Pawar ji makes preposterous statements on India’s stand on a terror attack in Israel. The menace of terrorism has to be condemned in all forms, in any part of the world. It is a pity that a person who has been India’s Defence Minister as well as a Chief Minister many times has such a casual view on issues relating to terror,” Piyush Goyal posted on X.

While responding to the minister’s post on X, NCP leader Jayant Patil said that the minister should first read the External Affairs Ministry’s statement which also spoke about Palestine. “As far as I know, the External Affairs Ministry has made a statement on Palestine too. He should read that first. I think then he will understand what decision is his government making,” he said.

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Updated: 18 Oct 2023, 10:11 PM IST

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