New Delhi: In the latest episode of Mann ki Baat broadcast live on All India Radio Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at length about being a member of the National Cadet Corps in his youth, thanked the nation for maintaining peace after the Ayodhya verdict, and warned about the ills of plastic waste. But he didn’t mention the ongoing political turmoil in Maharashtra, where the sudden formation of a BJP-led government is being hotly contested by the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in the Supreme Court.
The alliance, forged by a faction of the NCP led by party chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar, was sworn in early Saturday morning, with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as CM and the junior Pawar as his deputy.
The Supreme Court Sunday ordered the central government to produce letters from Fadnavis and Governor B.S. Koshyari by 10:30 am Monday, based on which it would decide if the BJP-led government needs to prove its majority on the floor of the Maharashtra assembly within 24 hours.
The latest episode of Mann ki Baat was broadcast at about the same time as the Supreme Court was hearing the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress’ plea.
A day earlier, Modi had taken to Twitter to congratulate Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar minutes after their swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan.
Congratulations to @Dev_Fadnavis Ji and @AjitPawarSpeaks Ji on taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. I am confident they will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 23, 2019
‘Never wanted to join politics’
Modi said in Sunday’s broadcast that he never wanted to join politics. “I never wanted to be a politician, but now that I’m here, I only think of devoting myself to the nation. I no longer think about what I would have been if not a politician,” he told young NCC cadets who came on the show.
Modi then went on “express pain” over the lack of publicity for a festival that had taken place in the Brahmaputra river, called the Brahmaputra Pushkar 2019.
“Perhaps if someone called it the international river festival, or had used big words to describe it, there are certain people who would have certainly paid attention to it,” he said. “Our ancestors understood the importance of rivers, and made an effort to combine the flow of rivers with our culture.”
On Ayodhya verdict and the Constitution
Speaking about the Supreme Court judgment on the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya earlier this month, Modi lauded citizens for maintaining peace.
“When the SC judgment came on 9 November, 130 crore Indians again proved that there is nothing above national interest. Values of peace, unity, and harmony are paramount in our country,” he said. “The verdict on Ram Mandir was welcomed by people across the country peacefully and comfortably.”
Modi then urged Indians to cut down on their plastic use, and appreciate the diversity of language in India, before moving on to Constitution Day on 26 November.
“I wish that Constitution Day retains the values of the Constitution, and also strengthens our commitment to nation building,” he said.
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