Keep family out of politics
He may be one of the most seasoned politicians in India. But Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party feels personally hurt by the attack launched on him by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In November 2016, Modi paid him fulsome compliments: “Pawar has completed 50 years of either being an MLA or MP, which is a legacy in itself in Indian politics. I have no hesitation in accepting that Pawar held my hand and taught me to walk in my early days in Gujarat,” Modi said at a function, adding, “he had shown the way to lead political life”. But now, during the election campaign, Modi has been trenchant about Pawar, criticising family rule in Maharashtra. “I watched the Prime Minister’s speech at Wardha. Instead of providing succour to drought-hit farmers, he was targeting my family… Mr Modi ought not to worry about my family,” Pawar responded. A politician of the old school, Pawar has never believed in bringing in the personal in the cut and thrust of politics. But this is a new phase.
Mulayam’s confusing signals
Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav continues to send out confusing messages. In the last sitting of the Lok Sabha, he praised Narendra Modi and said he prayed for the PM’s return. Recently, he is understood to have told his supporters: “38 mein Laal, baaki mein Shivpal (vote for my son in the 38 seats that are in the SP’s quota in the alliance; and as for the rest, which are in the BSP and RLD’s quota, vote for my brother Shivpal)”. This has thrown followers of the SP. Even more outraged are supporters of the BSP who were counting on the transfer of votes from the SP to the BSP.