Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not return for a second term, even though the BJP may emerge as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha elections, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar predicted on Tuesday.
“I don’t think that Narendra Modi will become PM again as the BJP will not get the required number in the elections. However, the BJP may emerge as the single largest party which cannot form the government without the support of other political parties,” news agency ANI quoted Sharad Pawar as saying.
“If the BJP takes the support of other parties to form the government, then the parties which support the BJP will look for someone else as their prime minister,” the 78-year-old former union minister added.
The BJP had in the 2014 general elections bagged 283 seats, enough to form government on their own. The NDA alliance had scored 326 seats.
On BJP chief Amit Shah’s assertion that his party would win 45 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, Mr Pawar sarcastically said, “He seems to have made a mistake. He should have said that his party would win (all) 48 seats.”
Mr Pawar’s comments come a day after he decided against contesting the Lok Sabha elections. Mr Pawar, who retired from electoral politics in 2012, had created a stir last month announcing a reprise. The party had even cleared the decks for his contest from the Madha seat in southwest Maharashtra, convincing sitting lawmaker Vijaysinh Mohite Patil to give up the seat.
He, however, announced on Monday that he has changed his mind, hinting that family compulsions played a role.
The national elections will take place in seven phases from April11 to May 19; results will be declared on May 23.
(With inputs from agencies)