Thackeray flays Pawar over Balwa links

Mumbai: Calling himself the "oldest friend" of Nationalist Congress Party president and Union minister Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Saturday said he was, however, an "enemy" of the Maratha leader`s "opportunistic" politics.

"We have always been Pawar`s well wishers. We felt Pawar should take care of his health and not lose whatever little credibility he has while indulging in politics of money. Had he heeded our advice, he would not be facing a slide for his links with Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka in the 2G spectrum scam," Thackeray said.

"Pawar is trying to fool people by saying that allegations of corruption don`t affect him. It will be better if he introspects as to why Balwa and Goenka are linked with him and not with other leaders," Thackeray said, in an editorial in Sena mouthpiece "Saamana."

Thackeray`s comments came a day after his son and Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray criticised the NCP leader after being called a "kid" by Pawar.

Pawar was asked why he had not spoken to Sena on the agitation over Jaitapur nuclear power project, spearheaded by Uddhav Thackeray, to which the NCP chief had replied, saying "I do not get to meet my senior friend (Bal Thackeray) nowadays and I would not discuss such issues with kids (Uddhav)."

"Pawar says he does not speak to kids. He should let us know with which great personality he speaks. Does he consider (nephew and deputy chief minister) Ajit Pawar as Pandit Nehru? Or does he speak to Obama, Putin or Sarkozy," the editorial said.