Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honored with the prestigious Lokmanya Tilak National Award during a ceremony in Pune. The event witnessed the presence of distinguished political figures, including Ajit Pawar, Eknath Shinde, Devendra Fadnavis, and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who shared the stage with PM Modi. During the ceremony, an emotional moment was captured between PM Modi and Sharad Pawar.
In his address, PM Modi expressed his gratitude, calling it a memorable moment. He acknowledged the profound impact of Lokmanya Tilak award contributions to India’s freedom struggle and paid homage to all freedom fighters. The Prime Minister also praised the rich history of Maharashtra, highlighting the significance of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Jyotirba Phule in shaping the nation.
PM Modi announced that he would donate the prize money from the award to the Namami Gange project, showcasing his dedication to environmental conservation and the welfare of the country’s people. He dedicated the award to the 140 crore citizens of India.
However, Pawar’s presence at the ceremony sparked controversy within the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. The Shiv Sena (UBT) criticized Pawar’s decision to attend, suggesting that he could have used the opportunity to protest against the political engineering that led to a split in the NCP. The editorial in ‘Saamana’ highlighted the expectations from a senior leader like Sharad Pawar and suggested that staying away from the event could have garnered appreciation for his leadership and courage.
The editorial further emphasized the ongoing fight against “dictatorship” and the formation of the INDIA alliance comprising 26 opposition parties, with Pawar being considered the “leading general” of the alliance.