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"Rajiv Gandhi had Mr Clean image, we are seeing the same in PM Modi": Ajit Pawar

Pune (Maharashtra): In an apparent comparison with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday said that PM Modi has an image similar to "Mr Clean" image that the Congress leader had. Ajit Pawar said that it is a matter of pride for the country as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being respected globally by world leaders. "In today's time, there is no leader who has popularity like PM Modi... If you see his work in the last nine years various development work has been done, and we are getting huge recognition on the world stage under his leadership," Ajit Pawar said. He further said, "Like Rajiv Gandhi who had an image of Mr Clean, we are seeing the same in PM Modi. PM works for 18 hours out of 24 hours." "He committed himself to the nation. Therefore I don't see any other leader in today's time who has more popularity than PM Modi," Ajit Pawar said. Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured with the Lokmanya Tilak National Award in Pune. Upsetting his allies and leaders of the I.N.D.I.A opposition alliance, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) stalwart Sharad Pawar shared stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Maharashtra on Tuesday.At the start of the event, PM Modi walked up to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) veteran. As the two leaders had a "candid conversation", Sharad Pawar grinned and patted the Prime Minister. After receiving the award, the PM said on stage that he will donate the prize money to the Namami Gange project. Later, the PM flagged off metro services and laid the foundation stone of various projects worth Rs 15,000 crore. "Our government is working towards improving the quality of life of the people," Modi added. PM Modi on Tuesday said it was a memorable moment for him to be conferred with Lokmanya Tilak National Award. Referring to Lokmany Tilak’s faith in the youth of the country, the Prime Minister recalled his mentoring of Veer Savarkar and his recommendation to Shyamji Krishna Varma who was running two scholarships in London - Chatrapati Shivaji Scholarship and Maharana Pratap Scholarship. The establishment of New English School, Fergusson College and Deccan Education Society in Pune is part of that vision. “Vision of system building to institution building, institution building to individual building, and individual building to nation building is like a roadmap for a nation's future and the country is following this roadmap in an effective manner”, the Prime Minister said. The Award was constituted by Tilak Smarak Mandir Trust in 1983, to honour the legacy of Lokmanya Tilak. With this award, PM Modi became the 41st recipient of the award. Earlier on Tuesday, PM Modi reached Pune as part of a day-long visit. He reached Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Mandir in Pune and offered prayers and also flagged off metro trains and inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various development projects, the official statement from the PMO said.

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