Ahead of NCP Chief Sharad Pawar’s rally in Maharashtra’s Beed today, banners have been put up by party rebel Ajit Pawar’s faction, welcoming senior Pawar and requesting him to “bless” his politically estranged nephew.
NCP banners carrying pictures of both the Pawars have been put up across Beed hours before Sharad Pawar’s rally in Parli. This comes against a backdrop of a war of words between the NCP faction led by Sharad Pawar and other parties of the state opposition grouping Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), which also includes the Congress and the Shiv Sena (UBT), over a “secret” meeting that took place between the two Pawars at businessman Atul Chordiya’s residence in Pune on August 12.
The MVA leaders demand clarification from Sharad Pawar on what transpired in that meeting, with Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole saying that his party’s leaders will deliberate on the meeting at the INDIA alliance’s conclave in Mumbai later this month.
Congress has termed the meet between the NCP patriarch and the Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister as a “matter of concern”.
Ajit Pawar, when pressed, said “nothing unusual” transpired in the meeting with his uncle.
“Pawar Saheb (Sharad Pawar) has already clarified. The media is giving different kinds of publicity to a meeting that took place between family members, leading to confusion. There is no reason to think that anything unusual transpired at the meeting,” he said, as quoted by news agency PTI.
Sharad Pawar on Monday dismissed the notion of any confusion within the MVA alliance over his meeting with his nephew.
“The MVA is united and we will successfully organise the next meeting of opposition bloc INDIA in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1,” Mr Pawar said.
Sharad Pawar’s rally in Beed today is on the home turf of rebel NCP leader Dhananjay Munde. This is the second such rally by Mr Pawar in recent weeks after he held a rally in Nashik, the constituency of another rebel NCP leader, Chaggan Bhujbal.
Mr Pawar is expected to stage more rallies in the coming days, in an effort to consolidate the party’s base and win back the support of those who have defected.