Won’t take any step that hurts Samajwadi Party, says Pawar on Mayawati’s induction into INDIA bloc  

Akhilesh Yadav an important ally in Uttar Pradesh, NCP chief says; reiterates that it is not necessary to project a prime ministerial candidate ahead of poll

December 28, 2023 12:24 am | Updated 12:24 am IST - Pune

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. File

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. File | Photo Credit: ANI

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday reiterated that it was not necessary for the Opposition INDIA bloc to announce a prime ministerial face as an alternative to Narendra Modi.

Speaking in Maharashtra’s Amravati district, Mr. Pawar, replying to a query on the induction of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) into the INDIA bloc, made it clear that the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) was the alliance’s important ally in the Uttar Pradesh and that it would not take any decision that would hurt it.    

Also Read | Never know who will need whom in future, Mayawati cautions INDIA bloc

“Mayawati’s role is predominantly limited to Uttar Pradesh. Our important ally in that State is the SP. At the meeting of the INDIA bloc leaders, the Samajwadi Party had a different opinion on this count [regarding taking the BSP into the INDIA bloc]. We have no intention of taking any decision that will hurt the Samajwadi Party,” said the NCP patriarch.

Mr. Pawar further said that he was keen that Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) be inducted into the INDIA bloc and that he had urged the Congress leadership to communicate with Mr. Ambedkar in this regard.

“I myself had urged (Congress national president) Mallikarjun Kharge during a meeting that the Congress should communicate with Prakash Ambedkar and make efforts to go to polls along with him. I do not know whether such a meeting took place or not. It is our wish that we should contest the polls together,” he said.

PM face

In response to his nephew, rebel NCP leader and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s recent remark that there was no alternative to PM Modi at the moment, Mr. Sharad Pawar said it was not necessary for the INDIA bloc to project a prime ministerial face before the 2024 Lok Sabha election in order to combat Mr. Modi and the BJP.

Also Read | ‘Complete distance’ from NDA and INDIA bloc for parliamentary polls, reiterates Mayawati

“There is no need to announce a PM face at the moment. The Opposition had not put forward any PM face before the the 1977 general election. After the Janata Party formed the government by defeating then PM Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister. So, the 1977 poll was not fought by projecting Desai as the PM face,” Mr. Pawar said.

He further said that while the recent Assembly poll results in the three States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were not as per expectations for the Opposition, it did not mean that the INDIA bloc was in trouble before the 2024 election.

“We have full faith that if we work in a single-minded manner, then people will accept us as an alternative. It is imperative that all Opposition parties stay united and go to polls together. We have already begun preparations and are taking necessary precautions to avoid any further debacles,” said the NCP chief.

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