New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday lashed out at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar at a rally in Akola, blaming him for farmer suicides in the state and terming the issue as a ‘sin.’

Speaking at ‘Maha Janadesh Sankalp Sabha’ in Akot, Akola, Fadnavis, who is seeking a second successive term as CM and will contest from Nagpur South West, praised his government saying that what it had done in five years, Congress-NCP alliance couldn’t do in 15 years. Lashing out at the NCP chief, who was recently in Enforcement Directorate (ED) crosshairs for his role in an alleged cooperative bank scam, the Chief Minister said, “Sharad Pawar is responsible for the sin of farmer suicides in Maharashtra. It’s under his government that farmer suicides started and increased.”

He also accused Pawar, who is also a former Union Defence Minister, of stopping water supplies to Vidarbha. The Chief Minister said, “You were a minister at the Centre and were in power in Maharashtra for 15 years. Your policies led to slowing down of irrigation in the region which led to farmer suicides.”

Not stopping there, Fadnavis said that Pawar’s ‘corrupt’ practices siphoned off funds meant for Vidharbha’s farmers.

The Chief Minister’s attack came a day after Pawar, speaking at a rally in Daund, had accused the Fadnavis government of corruption.

Maharashtra will vote in single-phase elections on October 21, while votes will be  counted and result announced three days later. The elections will also witness the political debut of Thackeray family scion Aaditya, who will contest from Worli and become the first member of his family to contest an election.