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Congress To Take Up Sharad Pawar-Ajit Pawar Meet At INDIA Conclave: Leader

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The Sharad Pawar-led faction of the NCP is a consti Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).


Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole has said that his party’s top brass will discuss with NCP founder Sharad Pawar his much-debated meeting with politically estranged nephew and state deputy CM Ajit Pawar when the INDIA alliance holds its conclave in Mumbai later this month.

Talking to reporters after a core committee meeting of the state Congress, Mr Patole said on Wednesday that there was no confusion in his party about Sharad Pawar, who is part of the anti-BJP alliance, but confusion prevails among people.

Mr Patole said two representatives of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge were part of the MPCC core committee meeting during which discussions took place on preparations for the conclave of INDIA alliance, a grouping of anti-BJP parties, to be held in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1.

“Sharad Pawar has a different party. There is no confusion about Pawar sahab’s (commitment towards the INDIA alliance) in the Congress,” he said.

Mr Patole rejected speculation that a ‘Plan ‘B’ was in place wherein the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Congress will contest the Lok Sabha polls together if the NCP (Sharad Pawar faction) aligns with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He said the Congress’s target is to defeat the BJP and its wants to take onboard those who will help in achieving that goal.

“Sharad Pawar is capable of taking his decisions. Our high command, during the INDIA alliance meeting, will discuss this (meeting with Ajit) with Sharad Pawar because he is a senior leader,” Mr Patole said when asked about the hush-hush huddle between the uncle and nephew in Pune last week.

The meeting between the NCP patriarch and party rebel Ajit Pawar on August 12 at businessman Atul Chordiya’s residence in Pune had sent political circles abuzz with speculation. It did not go down well with the Congress and the Shiv Sena group led by former CM Uddhav Thackeray.

The Sharad Pawar-led faction of the NCP is a constituent of the state opposition grouping Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) which also includes the Congress and the Shiv Sena (UBT).

Speaking to reporters in Aurangabad earlier in the day, the senior Pawar clarified his meeting with Ajit Pawar was related to a family issue and that there was no political angle to it. The former Union minister also ruled out aligning with the BJP.

The state Congress chief said Sharad Pawar and Mr Kharge also spoke over the issue and that the NCP founder stressed the meeting was just a family affair.

Mr Patole said discussions also took place during the core committee meeting on the party’s padayatra starting from September 3 which will be led by senior state Congress leaders.

He said reports have been received from observers appointed for all the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra and they are working on filling up the lacuna wherever needed. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)