NCP Chief Sharad Pawar Holds Long Meeting With PM Modi Amid Speculations
The meeting between PM Modi and Sharad Pawar comes amid speculations around multiple political developments.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Saturday, 17 July, with the meeting lasting for almost an hour.
The meeting comes amid speculations around multiple political developments – including a purported rift in the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra, as well as Pawar being possibly projected as a candidate for the presidential election, which he denied.
Rubbishing claims of his candidature in the upcoming presidential polls as "false", Pawar on Wednesday had said that he knows what the result will be as the BJP-led-NDA has more than 300 MPs.
Speculation of his presidential candidature stemmed from reported meetings between Pawar and poll strategist Prashant Kishor, and later a meeting between Kishor and the Gandhis.
Pawar clarified that no such discussion was held during his meetings with Kishor. He also claimed that he had met Kishor twice and even the 2024 Lok Sabha elections were not discussed in either of those meetings.
"BJP and NCP are two ends of a river. The two can't come together as long as there is water in the river. We are completely different, ideologically and politically," said NCP leader and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik after the Pawar-Modi meeting.
Further, Pawar stated that he is not going to assume any leadership position in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Apart from holding meetings with Pawar, Prashant Kishor had also recently met Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.
Flurry of Meetings Ahead of Monsoon Session
On Friday, newly-appointed leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, Piyush Goyal held a meeting with Pawar, former PM Manmohan Singh, and Congress leader Anand Sharma.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also held a meeting with Pawar and Congress leader AK Antony – both former defence ministers on Friday, with the situation along the China border being discussed.
The two Opposition leaders were briefed by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane regarding the ongoing conflict on the border with China, with the former's doubts on the situation being clarified by the latter, sources cited by news agency ANI said.
The flurry of meetings come ahead of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, which will begin on 19 July and is likely to conclude on 13 August.
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