Don’t think Modi will be PM after 2019 Lok Sabha elections says Sharad Pawar

Updated:  Oct 24, 2018, 09:25 AM

NCP Sharad Pawar Lok Sabha Elections 2019

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said that it's unlikely to have a national level pre-poll Opposition alliance for the 2019 general elections. However, he is trying to bring non-BJP parties together on a common platform to defeat the NDA.

NCP chief said any opposition party who hold the highest seat can claim the prime minister’s post if the Modi government is unseated. While speaking at 'Mumbai Manthan' organized by Aaj Tak Pawar said, “I do not see the possibility of a uniform national alliance since the political situation on the ground varies from state to state. I am talking to different parties to bring them on a common platform”.

Pawar said the prevailing situation in the country was comparable to the one in 2004. “There will be change in government in Delhi and Maharashtra. No single party can provide an alternative. I do not think Narendra Modi will be prime minister after the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

NCP chief said nobody thought Manmohan Singh would become prime minister, but he headed a stable government for 10 years. “[Former prime minister] Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s stature in the BJP and the country was much bigger than Modi. Still, there was a change. There is never a vacuum in politics. There will be an alternative even now,” he said.

Asked if NCP will give its support to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who hails from Maharashtra, as prime minister if the BJP-led alliance retains power, Mr Pawar said, “I would not support anybody from the BJP.” He added, leaders like H.D. Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujral became prime ministers “by accident” and that he did not want to be part of “accidents”.

Asked about the comment of former minister P. Chidambaram that Congress will not project party president Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate. NCP chief said, “During all my interactions with Rahul Gandhi, I realised there was no insistence on being the PM candidate, but only change of the government.”

Responding to the question, if the failure to forge a national alliance is a disadvantage, Mr Pawar replied in the negative. “We should accept the dominance of Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh, Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal … After polls, the picture of who will lead the alliance will be clear from those who get maximum seats.”

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