Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant urges Sharad Pawar to reconsider attending event with PM Moditext_fields
Pune: Arvind Sawant, a Member of Parliament from Shiv Sena (UT), has called on Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar to rethink his decision to attend an event where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be conferred the Lokmanya Tilak National Award.
The event, organised by the Lokmanya Tilak Smarak Mandir Trust, is scheduled to take place in Pune on August 1, with Pawar as the chief guest sharing the stage with PM Modi.
Leaders from various opposition parties in India have raised concerns, stating that the optics of Pawar sharing the stage with PM Modi might be detrimental to the alliance. Some leaders have also questioned Pawar's decision to attend the event, particularly after his nephew Ajit Pawar revolted against him and joined the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra.
Sawant highlighted the significance of Lokmanya Tilak's legacy, who famously coined the slogan "Swaraj is my birthright." However, he pointed out that the present situation raises questions about whether true Swaraj (self-rule) exists today, suggesting that it might be more like "swa-rajya," referring to the rule of one person. He urged Pawar to reconsider his participation in the event and criticised the ruling BJP for allegedly undermining the Indian Constitution.
The Lokmanya Tilak National Award was established by the Tilak Smarak Mandir Trust in 1983 to honor the legacy of Lokmanya Tilak. The award is bestowed upon individuals who have made significant contributions to the progress and development of the nation. It is presented annually on August 1, which marks the death anniversary of Lokmanya Tilak.
Sharad Pawar has been invited as the chief guest for the award ceremony, and the organisers have confirmed his attendance. Alongside Pawar, other dignitaries such as Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais, and trustee Sushil Kumar Shinde are also expected to be present at the event.
In the midst of this event, the Congress' youth wing in Pune has put up posters with the message "Go Back Modi" in certain areas of the city as a form of protest against the ongoing unrest in Manipur. Members of the opposition alliance INDIA are planning a protest against PM Modi's visit, highlighting the unrest in Manipur, which has been witnessing ethnic clashes since May.