Pawar says that secularism is in danger and BJP is reverting back to its Hindutva agenda.
BJP’s thumping victory in the recently concluded Uttar Pradesh assembly polls has sounded alarm bells among opposition parties like Congress and NCP. NCP supremo Sharad Pawar who has been known for cosying up with BJP has this time chosen to keep a safe distance from the party. With an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Pawar is calling for an alliance of secular parties like Congress, Samajwadi Party, BSP, RJD, JD (U), Trinamool Congress to form a grand alliance for challenging BJP. BJP’s rise after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and its recent victory in UP assembly polls has made Pawar insecure so he is keen for stitching together an united alliance which can counter the saffron party. NCP had earlier offered outside support to the BJP led state government in Maharashtra. However after few months, the party withdrew support as Shiv Sena came forward to bail out BJP. Pawar has often attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and criticised the policies of BJP.
After the UP government formation, Sharad Pawar had convened a meeting in Gujarat and expressed his displeasure over the appointment of extremist Yogi Adityanath as UP chief minister. He added that secularism is in danger and BJP is reverting back to its Hindutva agenda to lure Hindu votebank. He also had a meeting with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and both of them had a discussion pertaining to the formation of an alliance with secular parties to halt BJP’s growth.
Even though Pawar had parted ways with Congress and formed his own party NCP in 1999 citing Sonia Gandhi’s nationality but he said that BJP’s agenda of Congress mukta Bharat doesn’t augur well for the country. Pawar also added that BJP is following divisive agenda which will affect the nation’s secular credentials.
Pawar had tried his best to appease Modi but the latter has always followed the use and throw policy. He had used Pawar to weaken secular parties and strengthen BJP across the country. Therefore he has decided to distance himself from BJP so that his credentials as a secular leader is not questioned by political parties.
“The opposition parties must come together to save the country. Even though it’s a herculean task we will appeal to like-minded parties to stitch together an alliance to challenge BJP,” said Pawar
According to a political analyst, “Mulayam Singh, Mayawati, Rahul Gandhi, Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Naveen Patnaik, Chandrababu Naidu and even left parties would be searching for a leader who would unite and keep the folks together till 2019 parliamentary elections and Sharad Pawar would be the ideal choice. Pawar has withdrawn from race for either president or vice-president and would aggressively challenge BJP and would become rallying point for nationwide secular parties.”