Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said on Saturday that he was worried about Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Nitin Gadkari. Pawar claimed that it seemed as though Gadkari was being put forth as an alternative prime ministerial candidate to Narendra Modi, PTI reported.
“Some people in BJP are putting forth Nitin Gadkari’s name as the prime ministerial candidate,” Pawar told reporters in Maharashtra’s Solapur according to News18. “I am happy for him. Gadkari is a good friend. But now that his name is coming up for prime minister, I am getting worried for him.”
The Nationalist Congress Party chief brushed aside BJP National President Amit Shah’s claims that the saffron party would to win 45 seats in Maharashtra, including the Baramati Lok Sabha seat, a stronghold of the Pawar family. Pawar said that dreaming is not banned in the country.
Pawar also said his party is not in talks with Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena for a possible alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. “Raj Thackeray has a great deal of support from the youth,” the Nationalist Congress Party chief said. “But we have not had any talks regarding any agreement pertaining to elections.” The Nationalist Congress Party is an ally of the Congress.
Over the past few months, Gadkari has made remarks that have come across as criticism for the Narendra Modi-led government. On January 27, Gadkari had said that governments should only make promises that could be fulfilled, claiming that citizens would otherwise beat up politicians who made them dream but failed to fulfil them. Last week, the BJP leader advised his party workers to prioritise their families above politics.
On February 5, Congress President Rahul Gandhi praised Gadkari, claiming he was the “only one in the party with some guts”. However, the next day, Gadkari attacked the Opposition, saying it was united only in disagreeing with the Bharatiya Janata Party. He asked if a “khichdi government”, made up of those lacking mutual understanding, could ensure the country’s development.