Is there something more than what meets the eye in Modi’s visit to Baramati?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Baramati on November 14 has garnered the attention of political circles and media. According to sources, the BJP might be sending a stern warning to Shiv Sena that it may even snap ties with the latter and ally with NCP. Sena has been criticising the BJP after it suffered a massive defeat in the recently concluded Delhi assembly polls. Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena president had taken a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held him responsible for the election debacle.
Of late there has been a rift in the Sena-BJP alliance as the former has been blaming the latter for sidelining it. On the other hand, BJP too has been asking Sena to quit the alliance if it keeps on criticising Modi who is a respectable leader. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis defended Modi and stated, “How long can Sena celebrate the birth of a child at neighbour’s home?”
Modi will be visiting the Pawar bastion to inaugurate the Krishi Vigyan Kendra building, a project that the NCP chief had approved when he was the Union agriculture minister in the UPA government. Pawar will be present at the event.
The state BJP president Raosaheb Danve recently said that the party had “good relations” with Pawar. “The invitation (given by Pawar) is an honour to us (the BJP). Elections are over and there are no differences between us. The BJP has good relations with Pawar,” he said.
Earlier Modi had addressed NCP as a corrupt party and had taken a jibe at Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar while campaigning for assembly election. He also had urged voters to refrain from voting for such parties.
However, the political equations changed drastically after the election results, when Mr. Pawar extended unilateral support from outside to the BJP. Following the Sena’s decision to join the Maharashtra government, the NCP declared that it would sit in the Opposition.
NCP leaders are busy warding off any political controversy. NCP state unit president Sunil Tatkare said that NCP was committed to “secular” ideology and Modi’s visit to Baramati on February 14 should not be inferred as the party moving closer to the BJP. Senior NCP leader Praful Patel had recently said: “If Pawar were to join the BJP government, he could have done it in 1999, when then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had invited him.”
“He is coming to attend a programme of the Agriculture Science Centre. He will attend it as Prime Minister and not as political leader. I request all not to draw any political conclusions from this visit,” said Sunil Tatkare, president of NCP Maharashtra unit.
On the other hand, the NCP had said that it won’t back BJP if Sena quits the alliance. “If Sena withdraws from the government, the BJP government would be reduced to a minority. NCP will not extend support to it in such a scenario” party spokesman Nawab Malik said.