Mumbai, January 23: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar credited Muslims and other minorities for keeping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) away from power in Maharashtra. Speaking at a meeting of NCP's minority cell on Thursday, Sharad Pawar also criticised the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), alleging that the two measures, once combined, discriminates against Muslims. BR Ambedkar's Memorial Will Be a Tourist Hotspot, Says Sharad Pawar.

"During Maharashtra elections, Muslims didn't vote for the BJP. They vote for parties which can defeat the BJP. During elections, the minorities decide whom to defeat. In the state, the change of guard which we are seeing is due to that," Pawar said. He further accused the BJP of indulging in divisive politics. "This BJP government (at the Centre) is trying to divide the society. This government is dangerous and divides the people on the basis of religion," the Maharashtra strongman said. Sharad Pawar Emerges From Shadows As Maratha Strongman Amid Power Tussle in Maharashtra.

Pawar also spoke against the CAA, which grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and yet-to-be-announced nationwide NRC. "The BJP is in power. We were having hope that the party in power will take all people together. The people in power have clears ways for Hindus, Christians and Sikhs, but not for Muslims. Because of NRC and CAA, certain minorities will get ignored," he said.

"We have different communities in India. The people of Banjara community, which usually don't stay at one place, roam here and there for work. How are they going to prove their citizenship? They don't have any records; their names are not there in the voting list," Pawar added.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 23, 2020 02:57 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website