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Poll results mark 'beginning of change': Sharad Pawar

Poll results mark beginning of change: Sharad Pawar

Mumbai: The Assembly poll results in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh mark the "beginning of a change", NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Wednesday, dubbing the outcome as "rejection" of the BJP-led government's policies.

He also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his "personal attacks" on the Gandhis, saying it "did not behove" the person holding highest office to speak so.

Pawar, who turned 78 on Wednesday, said his party would support the Congress and also suggested the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to join the opposition's fold ahead of the 2019 general polls.

Referring to the constant criticism of Rahul Gandhi by the BJP, the former Union minister said people did not like the Congress chief being "ridiculed" and called as Pappu by the ruling party. Pawar said the results also showed that people accepted Gandhi as the Congress president.

Asked whether Gandhi will be the opposition's joint candidate for the prime minister's post in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Pawar curtly replied he "was not aware of any such discussion". He also said the issue of Ram temple would not fetch votes for the ruling party if used again in the 2019 polls, contending people do not respond to a certain issue if raised twice.The Congress was poised on Wednesday to form governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, signalling a newfound energy in the party ranks and energizing opposition efforts to stop the BJP juggernaut before general elections next year.

"This is the beginning of the process of change...The sentiment among the people is that the BJP leadership has become arrogant due to power. Hence, the results mark changing times," Pawar told reporters here.

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