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‘Why is Sharad Pawar silent on the issue of two PMs,’ asks Modi in Ahmednagar

Targeting Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar yet again, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday remarked as to why Mr. Pawar had allied with the Congress party which in turn stood with “those leaders wanting separate Prime Ministers for India and Jammu and Kashmir.”

“While I have no expectations from the Congress, I failed to understand Sharadrao (Mr. Pawar)… He had split the Congress [in 1999] to form the NCP allegedly for the sake of the country. Yet today, he has allied with the Congress and is silent and refuses to speak on those seeking two Prime Ministers, one in India and one in J & K...Mr. Pawar, how can you even sleep after allying yourself with the Congress?” said Mr. Modi, addressing a massive rally in Ahmednagar city.

Further targetting the NCP chief, the Prime Minister said: “Did you include the word ‘Nationalist’ in your newly formed party [the formation of the NCP in 1999] merely to hoodwink the people of the country. Since when have you begun viewing this country from a foreign prism.”

Mr. Modi was speaking as part of the BJP’s campaign for Sujay Vikhe-Patil, who is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena candidate for the keenly-contested Ahmednagar South Lok Sabha constituency.

Lashing out at the then UPA government, Mr. Modi said that when it was in power, the country only was at the receiving end of terror strikes and blasts, be it in Mumbai or in Pune.

“Who lost their lives in these blasts? Traders, farmers, workers, ordinary citizens… In contrast, when the BJP government was in power these past five years, bomb blasts have completely stopped. This government has struck terror in the minds of the terrorists,” he said, remarking that the UPA operated by remote control for 10 years before 2014.

“Each day [of the UPA government in power] brought news of fresh scams… You [read the electorate] will have to decide this time whether to vote for honest chowkidars or corrupt dynastic politicians,” Mr. Modi said.

“Our jawans wanted to avenge their losses, but were saddled with a weak and vacillating government [Congress-led UPA]. Today, the country has seen the benefits of a strong and decisive government,” said Mr. Modi, stating: “It was our government that gave a free hand to our armed forces to take on the terrorists.”

Attacking the Congress’ ‘weak response’ over Kashmir, Mr. Modi said that the Congress was talking about pulling out the armed forces from Kashmir.

“I want to ask the first-time voters in this state and the country whether they are willing to accept compromises on national security. Would they prefer a weak India in the 21st century. Thousands of jawans have sacrificed their lives over the Kashmir issue. How will the people allow Kashmir to be separated from us,” he said.

Mr. Modi again accused the Congress of being a party to the so-called ‘Tughlaq Road election scam’, hinting at the residence of the Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tughlaq Road in New Delhi.

He alleged that sacks of cash were allegedly recovered from the Congress leaders in Bhopal.

“Within six months of power in Madhya Pradesh, they have shown their true colours,” Mr. Modi said.

He further said NDA government was sensitive to the smallest needs of the farmers, Mr. Modi said that all farmers would fully reap the benefits of the PM Kisan Yojana once the BJP came to power after this general election, reiterating the party’s promise to give pensions to farmers.

BJP has planned surgical strike on Congress: Fadnavis

Speaking on the occasion, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the BJP had planned “a surgical strike” on the Congress in Maharashtra via the candidature of Dr. Vikhe-Patil in the Ahmednagar seat.

“The NCP’s captain [Sharad Pawar] had entered the field but was forced to withdraw within seven days. Whereas, we have fielded a young candidate, a qualified doctor to take on the opposition and we are confident to win both seats by huge margins,” Mr. Fadnavis said referring to Mr. Pawar announcing he wouldn’t contest elections.

Remarking that the Congress-NCP alliance was in the doldrums, he said the country needed a strong leader like Mr. Modi who could put Pakistan in its place.

Dr. Vikhe-Patil is pitted against sitting NCP legislator Sangram Jagtap, who is the Congress-NCP alliance’s candidate.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2020 7:26:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/why-is-sharad-pawar-silent-on-the-issue-of-two-pms-narendra-modi-asks-in-ahmednagar/article26816820.ece

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