In October 14, while campaigning for Maharashtra Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged residents of Baramati — Sharad Pawar’s home turf — to vote against the NCP and gain freedom from ‘Ghulami of Pawars’.
Four months on, speaking as chief guest at a function organised by the Pawar family in Baramati, Modi praised NCP supremo Pawar, calling him an experienced leader. Aware that this might provide fodder for controversy, Modi said his statements should be seen in the light of a democratic discourse.
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“I understand it’s a special day for my friends in the media. They will now compare what I said in the past and what I say now. But we should realise that this is the beauty of democracy. Democracy runs on two parallel tracks — one is dispute (vivad) and other is discourse (samwaad). Sharadrao and I belong to two different political parties, subscribe to two different ideologies, but both of us agree that country comes first and it’s bigger than parties or ideologies,” said Modi.
He was speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Center of Excellence for Vegetable Production, being set up as a part of an an Indo-Dutch Action Plan. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, CM Devendra Fadnavis, former Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, Baramati MP Supriya Sule were present at the event.
Modi added: “Sharadrao has years of experience and he knows more than I do. It’s my responsibility to seek his guidance when I am faced with an issue,” he said.
Modi said he shared a good rapport with Pawar since his Gujarat CM days. “When I was CM of Gujarat, I often faced difficulties while dealing with issue pertaining to the Centre. I used to talk to Sharadrao and get my problems solved. He used to act as a co-ordinator between me and the Centre,” he said, adding that this does not mean the two leaders will not criticise each other in the future owing to disagreement over issues.
Pawar said: “In politics, conflict inevitably happens. I believe that in a year politics should happen for a couple of days, but development should be on one’s mind for the rest 363 days. Politics should take backstage when the issue at hand is development”.
Will annul vague laws to boost business: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday hinted at amendments to outdated and “ vague” laws to ensure ease of business and attract higher investment. At the closing ceremony of the sesquicentennial celebrations of the Advocates Association of Western India, Modi said his government had annulled 1,700 laws since the BJP-led government assumed office in May 2014. He said the nature of laws should be simple and non-discriminatory.
Pawar bats for farmers
NCP leader Sharad Pawar Saturday leveraged PM Narendra Modi’s visit to reassert his credentials as the state’s tallest farmers’ leader. He highlighted concerns of drought-affected farmers, sugar mills, and milk producers in Maharashtra.
With inputs from Express News Service.