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No other strong leader like PM Modi at national level: Ajit Pawar

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PUNE, Aug 7 (PTI): Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Monday said he does not see any other strong leader like Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the national level today.

Speaking to reporters in Pune, Pawar said some people might be criticising him for his decision to join the Eknath Shinde-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, but a man can have a different opinion on the basis of his “experiences”.

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Ajit Pawar, the nephew of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) founder Sharad Pawar, joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government along with eight party MLAs on July 2.

On Sunday, union home minister Amit Shah during an event in Pune said Ajit Pawar is now at the “right place after a long time”, but “came very late”.

Asked about Shah’s comments, Ajit Pawar said he earlier reiterated that he had taken the decision to join the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance to take the state towards development, transform the region, address several issues, and help the elected representatives complete their work in their constituencies.

“Today, I personally do not see any other leader as strong as Narendra Modi at the national level. I do not see any other alternative. Some people criticise me citing my past statements, but a man can have different opinions on the basis of his experiences,” he said.

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He said the prime minister has made provisions of Rs 25,000 crore for the revamping of 500 railway stations, which include 44 stations stations in Maharashtra.

Appreciating Shah, he said the Union minister took “courageous” decisions which were not taken for last 20 to 22 years, after taking charge of the Cooperation Ministry.

“We as farmers should accept the fact that the decisions which were pending have been taken by Amit Shahji under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi,” Ajit Pawar said.

Asked about a meeting on review of constituencies with Amit Shah during his recent visit here, he said, “We had a brief discussion on the maha-yuti (mega alliance of BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP), but detailed discussions took place on the Centre’s various projects worth Rs 80,000 crore going on in the state.”

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Ajit Pawar said along with him, chief minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis were also present during the meeting with Shah.

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