Sharad Pawar wants the Congress should be part of the grand alliance. (PTI File)
Political experts are of the opinion that smaller parties, who are part of the opposition, want Sharad Pawar and not the Congress to lead the front
Along with the numbers, making the right decision at the right time is key in politics and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar is known for it.
Pawar’s recent statement related to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe over the allegations levelled against the Adani Group has created a buzz in the opposition amid talk of unity. But they say, when Pawar makes a statement, there is a hidden meaning behind it.
At a time when the entire opposition is trying to unite against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), especially against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all stakeholders are expected to toe the line, but despite the same agenda, Pawar differs on major issues.
First, he advised to the Congress to not make any further comments against freedom fighter Veer Savarkar.
Later, in an interview to NDTV, he said that instead of JPC there should be judicial probe to investigate the allegations against the Adani Group.
Also, even as the opposition is trying to corner PM Modi on his educational degree, Pawar feels it can’t be a political issue when issues such as inflation, unseasonal rain and damaged crops need more attention of the state and Central government.
PAWAR TO LEAD OPPN FRONT?
Political experts are of the opinion that smaller parties, who are part of the opposition, want Pawar and not the Congress to lead the front. They want to see Pawar repeat the “magic”, post 2019 state assembly polls in Maharashtra, where he formed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), on the national front.
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A few years ago, one attempt was made to form non-BJP, non-Congress alliance at the national level, but it didn’t materialise. Then, there was another attempt to form a non-Congress front at the national level.
The prominent players of a non-Congress front against the Narendra Modi regime are Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool Congress), Nitish Kumar (Janata Dal (United)), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), and Tejaswi Yadav (Rashtriya Janata Dal). They believe that if they can win 100 or more seats together, they will not only reduce the BJP’s majority drastically, but also serve as a platform for other opposition parties to come-together.
Pawar, who has good relations with these parties, is of the opinion that the Congress should be part of the grand alliance. In the past, Pawar has made it clear that at the national level, the Congress should take the lead and at regional level, the Congress should support the regional parties and allow them to take the lead during state elections. Post the MVA government debacle, Pawar was of the opinion that the BJP was finishing off regional parties. Which meant he wants the Congress to take back seat in state politics and have alliance with stronger regional parties, which are against the BJP.
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Looking carefully at the recent statements made by Pawar regarding Adani, Savarkar and Modi’s degree, it is clear that he is sending a direct message to the Congress that the concept of united opposition is to take everyone with you and not hurt smaller regional parties which will be the strength of this alliance. Pawar has also forced the Congress to rethink their strategy for unity, failing which the idea will remain elusive.
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