Apparently signalling an end to the bonhomie between Shiv Sena and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Bal Thackeray on Tuesday attacked the Union Minister, saying his attempts to come clean on the IPL bid row have proved futile.
"Pawar's politics has always revolved around money and the power that comes from it. Nobody knows him better than I do. The money which bailed him out of many difficult situations has now put him in a tight spot and even if he applies oil on his body, he will not be able wriggle out of IPL scam," the Sena chief said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
"Pawar cannot escape (from the IPL bid row) as Congress has cornered him totally and the person behind it is Sonia Gandhi," Thackeray claimed.
"The IPL scam has proved costly for him. I had told him many times to concentrate on agriculture (his portfolio) and not cricket. The same cricket has cornered him politically. His opponents in Congress are now capitalising on it," the editorial said, adding Pawar's clout in Indian cricket and the industrialists surrounding him would not be of any use in rescuing him.
Describing IPL as a "poisonous seed" in commercial cricket, Thackeray said Shashi Tharoor was asked by the Prime Minister to resign on moral grounds in connection with bidding for Kochi franchise and later on the names of Praful Patel and Pawar too figured.
"Why the same yardstick should not be applied to other ministers (Patel and Pawar)? the editorial asked, claiming that Pawar's attempts to distance himself from the Pune team bidding had proved futile.
"The detractors of Pawar in Congress are satisfied with the gunning for his blue-eyed boy Lalit Modi. They want to eliminate him from national and state level politics in Maharashtra. Pawar is a shrewd political strategist but his unnecessary dabbling with cricket has proved to be his waterloo," Thackeray said. Pawar had earlier this year sought the Sena chief's "clearance" for holding IPL matches in Mumbai in view of the party's opposition to Australian cricketers following attacks on Indians in that country. PTI