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NDA will remain in power after 2019 LS polls: Athawale

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Mumbai: A day after NCP chief Sharad Pawar predicted a change of government at the Centre after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Union minister Ramdas Athawale countered him saying the NDA will continue to occupy power with Narendra Modi as the prime minister.

"I believe the current government will continue after the 2019 general elections. The NDA will be in power under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi," Athawale said in a statement.

"The so-called unity of the opposition is not happening, hence such distractive messages are being circulated," the Minister of State for Social Justice added.

Pawar had Tuesday claimed that Narendra Modi will not be the prime minister after the next year's Lok Sabha polls, and that there will be change in government at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

"There will be change in government in Delhi and Maharashtra. No single party can provide an alternative. I do not think Narendra Modi will be prime minister after the Lok Sabha polls," the NCP supremo had said.

On the controversy surrounding the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, Athawale wondered why women were not being allowed inside the shrine despite the Supreme Court's directions.

"The decision is about treating women equally before the God. Women are denied entry in the name of tradition," he said.

The minister alleged that the erstwhile Congress-led government was responsible for the delay in allotment of Indu Mill land for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's memorial.

"The Congress-led government delayed the procedure to hand over the Indu Mill site to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's memorial. It was the Narendra Modi government that handed over the land for the memorial," he said.

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