Assigning the fifth-row seat to Sharad Pawar comes as a surprise. Especially, when the Gandhi family, who had run the ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ campaign against PM Modi were given the first row.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the oath of office and secrecy in a grand ceremony in front of 8,000 guests and various foreign delegates, followed by the swearing-in of his cabinet ministers. Not only global leaders but also several Bollywood celebrities and industrialists were invited at the ceremony.
Even the main Opposition party Congress’ chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi had graced the event with their presence. However, chief ministers of the Congress-ruled states did not attend the ceremony. Among all of them one person who was missing from yesterday’s grandeur ceremony was NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Despite an invitation, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar was nowhere to be seen. In fact, Sharad Pawar who was in Delhi yesterday visited Congress President Rahul Gandhi at his residence but stopped short of attending the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Modi.
Reportedly, the senior politician was allotted a seat in the fifth row which did not go well with the NCP party patron. NCP Spokesperson Nawab Mallik called it ‘insulting’. He expressed disappointment over the alleged episode, saying, “It was not right” given that Pawar is a senior national leader who had served as a Union minister and also the chief minister of Maharashtra.
The 2019 Lok Sabha elections remained one of the most bitterly fought election. When PM Modi came to Maharashtra for campaigning, he decided to target the Congress-NCP alliance. He did not even mince his words while attacking the Pawar family. Pawar infuriated with this, had hit back saying Modi shouldn’t drag his family in politics. However, the jibes and counter-jibes were part of the campaigning.
Thus, assigning the fifth-row seat to Sharad Pawar comes as a surprise. Especially, when the Gandhi family, who had run the ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ campaign against PM Modi were given the first row.
In 2014, Narendra Modi had called Sharad Pawar “his guru”. Modi looked up to Pawar and his vast years of experience for advice. But, History is a piece of omnipresent evidence to point out budding distances, or even enmity. The decision of allotting the fifth-row seat to Pawar might be a way to send a political message.