No confusion within MVA, will ensure successful INDIA meeting in Mumbai: Sharad Pawar

03:05 PM Aug 14, 2023 | PTI |

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Monday said there is no confusion within the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance over his meeting with nephew and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in Pune.


“The MVA is united and we will successfully organise the next meeting of opposition bloc INDIA in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1,” Sharad Pawar told reporters in Baramati.

This was the 82-year-old veteran politician’s maiden visit to his home turf after Ajit Pawar joined the Eknath Shinde-led government on July 2.

MVA constituents Congress and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) had asked the NCP chief to clear the confusion such meetings between the uncle and nephew create in political circles.

“There is no confusion among MVA partners. We are all together and will ensure the INDIA meeting in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1 is organised successfully,” Sharad Pawar said.


He asked media not to create more confusion by asking the same question.

“Myself, Uddhav Thackeray and state Congress president Nana Patole have taken the responsibility of organising the INDIA meeting in Mumbai,” Sharad Pawar said. The meeting will be held at a luxury hotel.

The NCP has no association with ”factions from MVA” which align with the BJP at the state and national and level, he said, alluding to the move by his nephew.

Sharad Pawar sidestepped a question on an editorial in Monday’s issue of Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ expressing displeasure over the “frequent meetings” between him and Ajit Pawar.

Asked about rumours that Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil may join hands with the BJP and also whether there was a discussion about him during a meeting with Ajit Pawar in Pune, the NCP president said no such discussion took place. ”I heard Jayant Patil’s brother received a notice (of ED). Such steps are being taken by misusing the power. Some of our colleagues received notices, and then they went with the BJP and a similar attempt is being made in the case of Jayant Patil, but I am sure his stand regarding the ideology is clear,” he said.

To a query on the monsoon session of Parliament which concluded last week, Sharad Pawar said one of the most important issues was of strife-torn Manipur. The issue is not just limited to Manipur, he said. Some of the north-eastern are located along the border with China and there is also one country beyond Manipur. If hardships are related to the people who live in border areas, and if the government is not paying attention to these hardships, then it is the ”most worrisome thing for the country,” he said.

That is why the opposition tried to raise the issue in Parliament continuously, but the government did not show any intent to discuss it under one particular section, so the demand was not fulfilled, he said.

”The prime minister spoke for more than two hours (referring to the PM’s reply in the Lok Sabha to the no-confidence brought by opposition parties), but he spoke on the Manipur issue for a limited time. His speech lacked the stand of giving some hope to the people of Manipur using some strict steps, and that is why no substantial output was achieved,” Sharad Pawar claimed.

Asked about the BJP blaming the Congress for the current situation, he asked what the ruling BJP has done in the last nine years but for blaming the Congress for what happened 30 years ago. The NCP president also said he is expecting to speak to party leader Nawab Malik, who was on Friday granted two months’ interim bail by the Supreme Court in a money laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested the former minister on February 23 last year in a case registered over the Goawala compound property in Kurla, allegedly linked to gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

Malik is in judicial custody since March 2022 and was admitted at a private hospital in Kurla in May last year. He is still at the hospital.

Sharad Pawar said he tried to contact Malik on Sunday, but learnt that he has not yet come out of the jail. ”Once he comes out, I will speak to him,” he said.

The NCP president also criticised the Centre for importing tomatoes from Nepal (amid the price rise of the key kitchen staple in India), saying generally when farmers start getting some money for their produce, the government takes a decision to import the produce from other countries. Sharad Pawar also expressed concern over 18 deaths in 24 hours at a hospital in Thane district and said such a thing happened in Thane, the home turf of Chief Minister Ekanath Shinde. ”The state government should take corrective steps immediately,” he said.


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