The Opposition-led INDIA bloc does not need a prime ministerial face, as the grouping should seek votes in the name of the alliance, veteran politician and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar said on Saturday.
Talking to the media after the meeting on the INDIA bloc held earlier in the day, Pawar said, “We don’t think there is any need to project a face, and we should ask for votes in its name (INDIA). We believe we can give the country an alternative”.
Pawar also referred to the 1977 political example when Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister under the Janata Party umbrella, without him being named as the Prime Ministerial face prior to the election.
On selecting Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge as the Chairman of the INDIA bloc, Pawar said, “Some leaders suggested that Kharge should be the leader (President) of the India alliance group. Many agreed to the same… Also, it was suggested that Nitish Kumar become the convener; many suggested it. However, Nitish Kumar refused, saying for now it is not needed”.
Furthermore, Pawar, one of the prominent faces of the INDIA bloc, stressed that “there is no displeasure within the alliance group,” refuting some reports over the discord over the PM face and seat-sharing discussions.
He added that the seat-sharing discussions will be initiated shortly.
“We had a discussion that we all will take a decision on seat sharing as soon as possible,” he said.
The NCP veteran also stated that the inauguration of the Ram Mandir is being organised in view of the Lok Sabha polls, as the construction is still underway.
“Congress is criticised because they are not going for the inauguration, but the temple is still not complete. Inauguration is being done keeping the Lok Sabha elections in mind; no one is against the Ram temple,” he said.