PM Modi to visit Baramati, share dais with Sharad Pawar

  • Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 21, 2015 21:30 IST

This Valentine's Day will see friends turn to foes in an unlikely place- Baramati in Maharashtra.

After calling the party a 'naturally corrupt part' four months ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to share stage with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in the latter's stronghold of Baramati, on February 14.

Modi is slated to visit Baramati to inaugurate a new Krishi Vigyan Kendra building in February, a project which was approved by the agriculture ministry under Pawar in the previous government. Maharashtra's NCP chief Sunil Tatkare confirmed the Prime Minister's visit.

Modi had attacked the NCP aggressively during the Lok Sabha election campaigns as well as during the state assembly elections in October. The PM had even campaigned in Baramati, attacking the Pawar family and urging voters to get rid of the 'uncle-nephew' duo, referring to the NCP chief and the then deputy CM Ajit Pawar.

Although the NCP tried to downplay the visit, Modi's decision to visit the political fiefdom of the Pawar family and inaugurate the new facility has definite political overtones.

This is the first time ever that the two leaders, who have often crossed swords, will share dais.

"This is not a political visit and should not be seen as one. Previously, presidents, then prime minister Manmohan Singh and many serving Union ministers have visited Baramati," Tatkare said, seeking to downplay the visit.

When reminded of Modi's allegations of corruption and misrule by the NCP during the assembly polls' campaign, Tatkare took a dig at the PM and said, "Maybe this is a good occasion for us to show him the work that has been done in Baramati."

The NCP has been flirting with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a fact that has lent political colours to Modi and Pawar's upcoming bonhomie. The NCP had on the day of the assembly poll results, offered unconditional support to the BJP, an offer which the saffron party was considering.

The NCP had also made a similar offer when the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP had to prove its majority in the Maharashtra assembly.

"We had only made the offer because we didn't want political instability in Maharashtra, like the situation is in Jammu and Kashmir today," said Tatkare.

also read

Top five stories from Mumbai you shouldn’t miss
Show comments