30 May 2017 | Last updated 02:33 PM

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Rahul must show consistency; Modi must become team player: Sharad Pawar
Sakal Times | Friday, 21 April 2017 AT 11:43 AM IST
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Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar said in Pune on Wednesday that lack of strong opposition in the country could be a bad signal for democracy and the Congress leadership has to take things much more seriously if they want to offer some opposition to the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“Recently, Rahul Gandhi had come to meet me. We discussed various things for over one and a half hour. My advise to Rahul was that he should be much more consistent with his political work. He is interested in his work, he also works hard, he travels all over the country in order to learn, but the only problem is he is not consistent. He suddenly vanishes to some foreign country for a long duration,” Pawar said while speaking to senior journalist Shekhar Gupta in his show ‘Off the cuff’.

“It is a good thing that the country has a strong government, but there are many issues in the country which are unresolved. The farmers are coming out on the roads and they are clearly in distress. It does not seem like the government is able to solve their problems. A general impression is being created that the BJP will win the 2019 election again, but I do not subscribe to this view.

Anything can happen and we have to offer the people some alternative. As the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, it is the responsibility of the Congress to offer that option,” he said.

“During the UPA rule, we once waived off the loans of farmers. We offered them help worth Rs 72,000 crore but now, sudden and general loan waiver will not be a good idea. If it is to be done, it should be done in a proper way on region-by-region basis,” he said.

Asked about his role in the national politics, Pawar said that he was not interested in taking any initiative to unite the opposition.

“It is true that people need an option to the BJP, but I will not take any initiative to lead or unite the opposition,” Pawar said.

“My impression about Modi is good. He is hard working and takes a lot of effort for the party, but the only thing is that he is a solo player. He has to become a team player,” he said.

Expressing concern about the rising vigilantism in the country, Pawar said, “I think there is a feeling of fear among the minority community members in the country and all these activities of go rakshaks and others who are taking law into their own hands, are very dangerous. The government must take steps to ensure that nobody indulges in violence or takes law in their own hands.”

Asked about the possibility of his name being nominated for the President’s post, Pawar said there was no possibility of him pitching for the position because has he did not have the numbers in the Parliament to support such a nomination.


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