PM Modi’s charge of budget allocation for Muslims foolish: Sharad Pawar

There is not even 1% truth in what PM speaks these days, says the NCP (SP) chief

Updated - May 16, 2024 06:51 pm IST

Published - May 16, 2024 04:23 pm IST - Mumbai

NCP-SP Chief Sharad Pawar said people want political change in the country. File

NCP-SP Chief Sharad Pawar said people want political change in the country. File | Photo Credit: PTI

NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar on May 16 termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that the Congress aimed to reserve 15% of the budget for Muslims as ‘foolish’, stating that budget allocation should focus on the country as a whole, not on caste or religion.

“It is foolish. Budget allocation based on caste and religion can never happen. The Central government budget is about the country, not of any cost or religion,” he said.

Regarding Mr. Modi’s “vote jihad” remark, the 83-year-old Maratha strongman dismissed it, saying there was no truth in Mr. Modi’s recent statements, suggesting a loss of confidence. “There is not even one per cent truth in what Modi speaks these days. He has lost confidence,” Mr. Pawar said.

Mr. Pawar also commented on Mr. Modi’s shift from focusing on agricultural development as Gujarat’s Chief Minister to solely engaging in politics now. He said people want political change in the country.

The octogenarian politician also responded to queries regarding his recent statement on the potential amalgamation of various regional parties with the Congress. He said that if there was alignment in ideology, party mergers should occur, questioning why Prime Minister Modi seemed perturbed by his remark. “Why is Modi so troubled by my comment? I did not speak about Uddhav Thackeray’s party... Is that a small party? It got more seats [than us] in the last Assembly elections,” he said.

Slams roadshow

Criticising Mr. Modi’s events in Mumbai on Wednesday, he argued against holding roadshows in Gujarati-dominated areas, implying a divisive focus. “Modi held the roadshow in a Gujarati-dominated area. When you are leading the nation, thinking about caste and religion is not appropriate. Conducting a roadshow in a city like Mumbai is not the right thing to do. People had to wait for hours. They suffered inconvenience due to it...Such complaints were received,” the NCP (SP) supremo said.

A giant hoarding of 120 feet x 120 feet collapsed at Chheda Nagar of Ghatkopar during gusty winds on Monday killing 16 persons and leaving 75 injured.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut also criticised Mr. Modi saying it was “inhuman” for him to hold a roadshow in the same area of Mumbai where the hoarding collapse incident claimed the lives of 16 persons.

He said roads and Metro rail services were shut from noon on Wednesday on account of Mr. Modi’s roadshow from Ghatkopar West to Ghatkopar East. “Never ever has such an incident happened where roads were shut for one person’s campaign, causing inconvenience to people. It is inhuman to hold a roadshow where people died after the hoarding collapse,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.

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