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Despite INDIA's objection, Pawar shares stage with Modi

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
August 01, 2023 12:36 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday shared stage with Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar at the Lokmanya Tilak National Award ceremony in Pune.

IMAGE: Left to right, Maharashtra deputy CMs Ajit Pawar and Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde, governor Ramesh Bais, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and senior Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde at the Lokmanya Tilak Award function in Pune. Photograph: ANI

Pawar attended the event held to confer Modi with the Lokmanya Tilak Award in recognition of his “supreme leadership” and for “awakening the feeling of patriotism among citizens”.

Pawar did not entertain requests from members of the opposition INDIA alliance to not share stage with Modi.

The INDIA alliance members felt this won't be good optics for the opposition at a time when a united front is being put up against the BJP.

Pawar did not meet some MPs who wanted to dissuade him from gracing the occasion.


The award was constituted in 1983 to honour the legacy of Lokmanya Tilak and is presented every year on August 1, Tilak's death anniversary.

Some social organisations and members of various political parties staged a joint protest against Modi during the visit. Prominent social activist Baba Adhav led the protest where the participants waved black flags.

The alliance members held the protest at Mandai, around 300 metres from the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh temple where Modi performed pooja soon after reaching Pune.

Leaders of Congress, Shiv Sena-UBT, NCP (Sharad Pawar faction) and members of various social outfits took part in the protest.

The Shiv Sena-UBT said NCP chief Sharad Pawar could have turned his back on the event to clear doubts about him among those who have taken a dim view of it.

An editorial in the Shiv Sena-UBT mouthpiece 'Saamana' claimed PM Modi accused the Nationalist Congress Party of corruption and then engineered a split in the party and muddied the politics in Maharashtra.

“Still Sharad Pawar will welcome Modi and this has not gone down well with some people. This was a good opportunity for Pawar to turn his back on the programme and clear the doubts about him among people,” the Marathi daily said.

Notably, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar last month led a split in the NCP and joined the Shinde government along with eight other party MLAs.

The editorial said if Sharad Pawar would have stayed away from the event to protest against the engineering of a split in the NCP, then his leadership and courage would have been appreciated.

It said the country is fighting against “dictatorship” and the INDIA alliance comprising 26 opposition parties has been formed for the purpose.

Sharad Pawar is the "leading general" of the alliance, it claimed.

There are different expectations of people from a senior leader like Sharad Pawar, the Marathi publication said.

PM Modi is not ready to speak on the violence in Manipur. It is not in national interest for the country's leader to not speak on the issue, it said.

There are protests against the prime minister in Pune and NCP activists are taking part in it, the editorial said.

It is a weird situation because leaders are with Modi sharing the stage and party workers are protesting against him with black flags, it added.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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