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Does Modi have mandate for 3rd term, asks Sharad Pawar

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
June 11, 2024 10:47 IST
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With Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking the oath of office for a historic third successive term, Nationalist Congress Party-SP president Sharad Pawar sought to know whether he had the mandate to lead the country.

IMAGE: NCP-SP president Sharad Pawar addresses party workers on the occasion of the NCP's 25th foundation day in Pune. Photograph: @PawarSpeaks/X

The saffron party fell short of majority in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections and had to take support of its allies to form the new coalition government at the Centre, he noted on Monday.

The senior politician was speaking at a party congregation in Ahmednagar, around 125 km from Pune, on the occasion of the NCP's 25th foundation day where newly-elected party MPs were felicitated.

"Narendra Modi took the oath as Prime Minister (on June 9). But before taking the oath, did he have the mandate of the country? Did the people of the country give him consent? They (BJP) did not have a majority. They had to take the help of the Telugu Desam Party and Bihar Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar)....because of them he could form the government," Pawar said.

The former Union minister also remarked that the new BJP-led NDA government was different from the earlier ones.

"During the election period, Modi, wherever he went (for campaigning), did not refer to the government as 'Government of India' used to be called Modi Sarkar, Modi's guarantee. Today that Modi guarantee is no longer there.

"Today it is no longer a Modi Sarkar. Today, because of your vote, they have to say this is not a Modi Sarkar, it is the Government of India. Today because of you, they have to take a different approach," Pawar told the gathering, referring to the Lok Sabha poll results.


The post of PM is of the country and not of a particular party, he said, adding the incumbent must think of all segments of society, castes and creeds.

"But Modi forgot to do this. I think he did it deliberately. Minorities like Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis are an important part of the country. They must have faith in the government but Modi failed to do this. In a (campaign) speech, he spoke about a class of people having more children. It is clear he meant the Muslims," Pawar said.

"He (PM) said if power goes into the hands of these people, they will snatch away mangalsutras of women etc. Have such things ever happened in the country? He also said the opposition will take away one buffalo if anyone has two, in case they come to power. Should a prime minister talk like this? Modi did not observe restraint when it came to criticising others," Pawar said.

The NCP(SP) chief also spoke about Modi calling him a "bhatakti aatma" (wandering restless soul) and said "it is good, since the soul is eternal and this soul will not spare you."

Modi called the Shiv Sena-UBT "nakli (fake) Shiv Sena", Pawar said, and asked if a person occupying the post of PM should call anyone or any group "nakli".

"His actions show that when the possibility of regaining power diminishes, one becomes restless," Pawar added.

Speaking about the NCP-SP, he said it would create a new and accomplished team to garner the people's support.

"Not only in Maharashtra, but we will also have to work in Haryana and Jharkhand where elections are scheduled to take place in the next three months, and form governments," Pawar said.

He asked party functionaries to strengthen the organisation and protect the interests of marginalised sections of society.

People thought the Ram Temple construction would be relevant in politics but the BJP candidate was defeated in Ayodhya itself, Pawar noted.

"Tomorrow if I visit the Ram temple in Ayodhya, I will not use it for my politics. People of Ayodhya took note of the wrong done by Modi and ensured the defeat of the BJP candidate," he said.

Praising newly-elected Ahmednagar MP Nilesh Lanke, who defeated BJP's sitting MP Sujay Vikhe Patil, Pawar said the former was criticised for not being able to speak English.

"But one can speak in Hindi or his mother tongue," he added.

All eight NCP(SP) MPs will get his guidance at all times, Pawar assured, adding they would be the NCP's "ashtapradhan mandal" (council of eight ministers) in Parliament the way Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had his ashtapradhan mandal.

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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.