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Voting in 3 phases unsettled PM Modi: Pawar

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PUNE, May 9: NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said that voting in the first three phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections has unsettled Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he has openly started mentioning Muslim community in his speeches.

Talking to reporters in Satara of western Maharashtra, Pawar elaborated on his merger with the Congress remark, saying that several parties have an ideology that is similar to that of the grand old party.

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Asked about his assessment of the Lok Sabha elections after the completion of three phases, the former Union minister said, “It seems that voting in all these three phases is unsettling for Modi and the reason (for saying this) is that after these phases, PM Modi has changed his tone.”

“He has started making a mention of Muslim community openly (in his speeches). It seems he thinks that the situation would change by bringing in communal thoughts. It is my observation that some people in his party think that as the phases complete, his position is getting in danger,” he said.

Asked about his party’s possible merger with the Congress, Pawar said he never made any such remark.

Pawar, in an interview to a newspaper said recently that in the next couple of years, several regional parties will associate more closely with the Congress or even merge with it.

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Elaborating on it, he said, “Take the example of our party – NCP. From foundation till today, NCP and Congress have been working together. The ideology of both the parties is rooted in (the ideals of Mahatma) Gandhi and (Jawaharlal) Nehru. So, it will be no surprise to see an increase in sentiments among parties that share (an ideology similar to that of the Congress), coming together and working more closely with each other.”

When asked about his nephew and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s statement about his (senior Pawar’s) meetings in Delhi to decide on joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said that some colleagues were in favour of going with the BJP.

“On several occasions, I told them that if you want to hold dialogues you can do so, but the final decision rests with the party and the party’s decision was different from what they are claiming,” he said.

On PM Modi’s claim that Congress received money from Ambani and Adani, Pawar said it used to be a topic of discussion in the country as to who the Ambanis and Adanis were friends with.

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“But the same people against whom these talks were on are now putting the blame on Congress,” Pawar said.

Addressing a rally in Hyderabad on Wednesday, PM Modi accused the Congress of having a nexus with “Ambani and Adani”, and asked if the party has received “tempo loads of black money” from the two businessmen for its leader Rahul Gandhi to stop “abusing” them.

To a query about Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray and PM Modi’s scheduled joint election rally in Mumbai later this month, he said that Modi going with Thackeray shows how the PM desperately needs help.

“It shows where his confidence has gone,” he said. (PTI)








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