Join NDA instead of merging with Cong: Modi tells Pawar, Thackeray | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Join NDA instead of merging with Cong: Modi tells Pawar, Thackeray

May 11, 2024 09:30 AM IST

“Instead of going with the Congress, nakli (fake) NCP and Shiv Sena should join hands with Ajit Pawar and chief minister Eknath Shinde with pride,” the PM said

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) founder Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray to join the Bhartiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after results for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections are declared on June 4. The opposition was quick to dismiss the statement, with both Pawar and Thackeray saying Modi had sensed the imminent defeat of BJP in the polls.

**EDS: IMAGE VIA @mieknathshinde POSTED ON MAY 10, 2024** Nandurbar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde during a public meeting in support of MahaYuti candidate from Nandurbar constituency Heena Gavit for the Lok Sabha elections, in Nandurbar. (PTI Photo) (PTI05_10_2024_000169B) (PTI)
**EDS: IMAGE VIA @mieknathshinde POSTED ON MAY 10, 2024** Nandurbar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde during a public meeting in support of MahaYuti candidate from Nandurbar constituency Heena Gavit for the Lok Sabha elections, in Nandurbar. (PTI Photo) (PTI05_10_2024_000169B) (PTI)

Alluding to a recent statement by Pawar on the likelihood of regional parties merging or aligning with the Congress after the Lok Sabha polls, Modi told a rally in Nandurbar, which will vote during the fourth phase on May 13, “Instead of going with the Congress, nakli (fake) NCP and Shiv Sena should join hands with Ajit Pawar and chief minister Eknath Shinde with pride.”

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The rally was organised in support of the BJP candidate and two-time MP from Nandurbar, Heena Gavit. Referring to Pawar’s statement towards the end of his address at the rally, Modi said, “A big leader from Maharashtra started feeling helpless after polling ended in Baramati. So, he made a statement that regional parties may merge with the Congress after the Lok Sabha polls. I am sure that the statement was made after consulting with party colleagues.”

Modi claimed that merging with Congress would result in the death of NCP (SP) and Shiv Sena (UBT), whereas if they joined the NDA, “all their dreams would come true”.

Rejecting the ‘offer’, Pawar said the BJP was not getting support from people and Modi had spoken out of frustration to create confusion. “In the first three phases of the election, people’s sentiments have gone against PM Modi. That’s why he is frustrated and out of that frustration he made this statement to create confusion. But we will not give up our ideology,” said Pawar.

The veteran leader further said that democracy was in danger in India owing to Modi. “The way Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal were sent to jail could not have happened without the central government’s involvement. Modi speaks the language of hatred, which creates communal conflict. We cannot go with such a person.”

Pawar also slammed Modi for referring to the NCP (SP) and Shiv Sena (UBT) as nakli or fake, saying he should maintain the decorum of the prime minister’s post.

Congress state president Nana Patole too termed Modi’s offer as an indirect acceptance of BJP’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. “On one hand, PM Modi refers to Pawar and Thackeray’s parties as fake; on the other hand, he urges them to join hands with the NDA. This shows that he has realised that the BJP-led alliance will not come to power again,” said Patole.

Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray too said that Modi had sensed he would not come back to power in Delhi again. “Modi is singing ‘Aaja meri gadi mein baith ja’ song for us and winking at me. But I will not go with Modi,” he said at a rally in Sambhaji Nagar.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut claimed that Modi had lost his sense and balance, which was responsible for the statement. “PM Modi is latakti atma (hanging soul) and we are holy souls. So we will not go with him. I already said that he is not feeling well and that’s why making such statements,” said Raut.

Leaders of the ruling Mahayuti accused the opposition of distorting Modi’s statement.

“What the prime minister said was in reaction to Pawar’s statement. Pawar foresees defeat and hence he made such a statement. Modi merely asked him to join Shinde and Ajit Pawar instead of merging with Congress,” said deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis.

CM Eknath Shinde said, “Both the parties, fake NCP and fake Shiv Sena, have become weak. So, Modi asked them to join hands with us. He appealed to people in nakli Shiv Sena to join the original Shiv Sena which follows the ideology of late Balasaheb Thackeray.”

“What PM Modi said was an appeal to nakli parties to join our original parties as they have nothing left,” said NCP leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

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