Upping the ante ahead of polling, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said NCP chief Sharad Pawar is a wise man who is ahead of time in understanding which way the wind blows.
Addressing a rally in Madha, he said, "Sharad Rao (Pawar) is quite a big player. He understands which way winds are blowing well before time. He will never do anything which would affect him or his family (Sharad Rao bhi bade khiladi hain, wo samay se pehle hawa ka rukh samajh jaate hain. Aur wo kabhi aisa kuch nahi karte jiske kaaran unko aur unke parivar ko kharonch aa jaaye, baaki koi bhi bali chadh jaaye to chadh jaaye)."
The Prime Minister asserted that those sitting in Delhi in AC rooms are unaware of the ground reality, in an apparent reference to the Congress.
"Those sitting in Delhi in AC rooms and keeping a tab on things which will happen after who hugs whom, after who shakes hands with whom, after who looks at whom, don't know the ground reality. Now I know why Sharad Rao ran away from the battleground," he quipped.
In Madha, a seat currently represented by NCP MP Vijaysinh Mohite Patil, Modi accused Pawar of not doing enough for farmers reeling under poverty while in the cabinet.
"Sharad Pawar ji, who was the agriculture minister in the government, could have introduced new schemes for the welfare of the farmers. But he was more interested in running his sugar shops (mills) rather than improving the lives of farmers," he claimed.
The Prime Minister also hit out at Congress and its allies for calling all those with the surname 'Modi' thieves, and said, "Congress and its allies say that all Modis in the society are thieves. Congress and its allies have not kept any shortcomings in abusing of my backward caste. This time they have crossed the limits and abused the entire backward society."
"They first called the 'Chowkidar' a thief and when all Indians started calling themselves 'Chowkidar' then they sealed their lips," he added.
Urging public to cast their ballot in favour of BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the Prime Minister, in his concluding statement, said that it is only his party that has the strength to bear the weight of the country.
"To such run such a big country, it is imperative to have a strong leader. People of India gave me the absolute majority in 2014, which gave me immense strength to take big decisions for the welfare of the people, especially poor," he added.
Polling for the 48 Lok Sabha seats at stake in Maharashtra is being held in four phases, out of which seven seats went to polls on April 11.
Polling for Madha Lok Sabha seat will be held in the third phase of polling on April 23, while its neighbouring constituency Solapur will go to polls tomorrow.