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‘Most unfortunate day for India, if Modi becomes PM’

NCP chief Sharad Pawar had said that the government is vulnerable and there might be early polls. Do you also feel that a mid-term poll might happen soon, especially after the DMK and TMC pulled out from the UPA?

Sharad Pawar made the statement in a different context. He addressed it at a two-day-long meeting with his party workers and leaders, where he expressed the possibility of early polls and asked his party leaders and workers to start preparations, in case of emergency. He said this after two major allies of the UPA, TMC and DMK, had withdrawn support from the government.

In a situation where the UPA has lost majority and has become completely dependant on the outside support of SP and BSP, Pawar is just preparing the party workers.


Even though the NCP has been a consistent alliance partner of the UPA, do you foresee any new political alliance in the next general election?


I don’t think there are any such plans. As of now we are a part of the UPA and in the future too our relationship with them would continue.


What do you think have been the biggest achievements of the UPA-II till now?


There have been various achievements which need to be mentioned about the UPA-II. Some of which includes the inclusion and implementation of Right to Education (RTE), the bill on land reforms, cash transfer scheme and taking measures for atrocities against women. Also, foreign direct investment in retail has been one of the major achievements of the UPA regime.

In the agriculture sector, we are concentrating on the second phase of green revolution, in which until now we were focusing on Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh but now we are covering Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattishgarh and other areas as well. In the last two years the production output in these areas has gone up immensely.


As a close and trustworthy ally of the Congress, what does the NCP believe are the gravest failures of UPA-II?


The  major weakness of the UPA has been that they have not been able to manage their relationship with alliance partners, TMC and DMK.

Also, 2G spectrum and Choppergate scams have been big hurdles for the UPA government.


Do you foresee Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as the future prime minister of India?

Rahul Gandhi himself has asserted that he is not in a hurry to become the PM of the country. I feel Rahul needs more experience at present as he is not confident himself to run the country. Considering his family background, if he keeps working the way he is, it is very likely that he might get a similar chance in future as well. Right now, I feel, he is not ready to take on the post.


What are your views on Narendra Modi projecting himself as the PM candidate?


Narendra Modi has no national image at all. He is no doubt the chief minister of a state, but he’s just limited to that. The image that he now projects represents that of a hardcore fundamentalist.

The PM of the country needs to have a secular and liberal image, which he completely lacks. It will be the most unfortunate day for India if Modi ever becomes the PM.

Many nations have in fact denied visa to him. In India and even across the world people realised that the 2002 communal riots were administered by the state government. Innocent people were murdered in that carnage and this incident, even now, is seen as a major dent to India’s image. A man who has failed to run a state and just talks about development is incapable of running the nation at any cost. Such fundamentalist people are a threat to the nation’s united fabric.


The NCP had spilt with the Congress because of difference in opinion on the leadership issue. Will it ever fuse again in future?


The NCP will never merge will the Congress. Our status is now of a national party. We plan to expand the party in different areas.


The coordination committee setup was a demand of the NCP, how has it worked out till now?

Frequent meetings of coordination committee need to be organised to boost confidence of alliance partners of the UPA. So far the experience has been very good for allies. We have had many discussions and suggestions given on various issues.


What will be the future of the NCP after Sharad Pawar?

Sharad Pawar is pretty much active as of now. It’s too early to comment on it. He is giving his full time to the party and the government.


What are your comments on the controversy created by Ajit Pawar’s statement?


Such a statement should not have been made by Ajit Pawar. He has apologised for making such a statement.

We in the NCP feel that if anyone in the party commits a mistake and realises it, then we are ready to forgive him and give him a second chance.
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