Sharad Pawar questions if Modi has mandate for third term as PM

Pawar, a critic of the BJP, pointed out that the saffron party fell short of a majority in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections and had to take the support of its allies to form the new coalition government at the Centre.
Sharad Pawar.
Sharad Pawar.(File Photo | EPS)

Pune: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the oath of office for a historic third successive term, NCP (SP) president Sharad Pawar on Monday sought to know whether he had a "mandate" to lead the country.

Pawar, a critic of the BJP, pointed out that the saffron party fell short of a majority in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections and had to take the support of its allies to form the new coalition government at the Centre.

He was speaking at a party congregation in Ahmednagar, around 125km from Pune, organised on the occasion of the NCP’s 25th foundation day where newly-elected MPs of the outfit were felicitated.

“Narendra Modi took the oath as Prime Minister (on June 9). But before taking the oath, did he have a mandate of the country? Did the people of the country give him consent? They (BJP) did not have a majority. They had to take the help of the Telugu Desam Party and Bihar Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar)….because of them he could form the government,” the Rajya Saba MP averred.

The former Union minister maintained the current BJP-led NDA government was different from the previous ones.

“During the election period, Modi, wherever he went (for campaigning), did not refer to the government as ‘Government of India’…it used to be called Modi Sarkar, Modi’s guarantee. Today that Modi guarantee is no longer there.

“Today it is no longer a Modi Sarkar. Today, because of your vote, they have to say today this is not a Modi Sarkar, it is the Government of India. Today because of you, they have to take a different approach,” the veteran politician told the gathering, referring to the Lok Sabha poll results.

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