The knives have been out in the opposition coalition in Maharashtra ever since NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s reported “secret meeting” with his estranged nephew Ajit Pawar. The meeting between the Pawars on August 12 at businessman Atul Chordiya’s residence in the Koregaon Park area in Pune had sent political circles abuzz.
There were reports quoting Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan who had claimed that a central cabinet berth had been offered to the NCP stalwart or his daughter Supriya Sule.
Sule denied reports of ministerial offer. “I have received no such offer and neither has anyone had any conversations on those lines with me. You should ask them (Maharashtra Congress leaders) why they are giving such statements. I have no idea. I am personally in touch with senior Congress leaders such as Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Gaurav Gogoi but I am not in touch with any of their leaders in Maharashtra,” she said.
Sule also said that she is not aware of what transpired in last week’s meeting between Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar at the home of a Pune businessman.
“Even before my Dada’s (Ajit Pawar’s) birth, the Pawar and Chordiya families shared a good association as Mr (Atul) Chordiya’s father and Pawar Saheb were together in college. So there is nothing to be surprised if both the families meet,” said Sule.
Both the Congress and Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena have objected to the meetings.
Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole has said they not approve of meetings taking place “secretly” between the Pawars and that it is a matter of concern for his party.
An editorial in the Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said the frequent meetings between Sharad Pawar and his nephew were tarnishing the image of the NCP founder.
The Marathi daily also said it is amusing that Ajit Pawar is frequently meeting his uncle and the latter is also not avoiding it.
Watch Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit offered Sharad Pawar berth in Union Cabinet: Congress ex-CM