Pune: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday shared the stage with NCP chief Sharad Pawar at the Lokmanya Tilak National Award ceremony in Pune.
Pawar attended the event held to confer Modi with the Lokmanya Tilak Award in recognition of his ‘supreme leadership’ and for ‘awakening the feeling of patriotism among citizens’.
Pawar did not entertain requests from members of the opposition INDIA alliance to not share the stage with Modi.
The INDIA alliance members felt this won’t be good optics for the opposition at a time when a united front is being put up against the BJP.
Pawar did not meet some MPs who wanted to dissuade him from gracing the occasion.
The award was constituted in 1983 to honour the legacy of Lokmanya Tilak and is presented every year on August 1, Tilak’s death anniversary.
Some social organisations and members of various political parties staged a joint protest against Modi during the visit.
Prominent social activist Baba Adhav led the protest where the participants waved black flags.
The alliance members held the protest at Mandai, around 300 metres from the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh temple where Modi performed pooja soon after reaching Pune.
Leaders of Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP (Sharad Pawar faction) and members of various social outfits took part in the protest.