Pawar stems rumours over Ajit’s exit, says no meeting with MLAs


Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday dismissed speculation about his nephew and senior party leader Ajit Pawar’s next political move and said no meeting of NCP MLAs has been called by anyone.
He also said Ajit Pawar was busy with the party’s work and that there was no need for the media to drag the issue.
Earlier on Monday, Ajit Pawar also dismissed as false the reports that he has called a meeting of MLAs on Tuesday, amid intense peculation in Maharashtra’s political circles about his growing proximity with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Rumours about Ajit Pawar’s next political move started swirling last week when he suddenly cancelled his scheduled meetings and also made comments which were seen as being soft on the BJP and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s camp. The BJP is part of the Shinde government. Ajit Pawar also dismissed “rumours” about switching over to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and emphasised that he plans to remain with the NCP. “No truth in the rumours spread about me. I am with the NCP and will remain with the party,” Ajit Pawar said addressing media persons here. “I have not taken the signatures of any MLAs. Now, all rumours must stop,” the Maharashtra NCP leader said on speculations that he had taken a meeting of MLAs who wanted to switch to the to ruling Eknath Shinde-BJP alliance. Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday added grist to the rumour mill claiming Sharad Pawar recently told Uddhav Thackeray that his party will never join hands with the BJP even if anyone takes an individual decision to do so. Speaking to the reporters in Purandar area of Maharashtra’s Pune district on Tuesday, Sharad Pawar said whatever discussions are going on in the minds of the media are not there in “our minds”. “…There is no importance of all these discussions. The reports have no meaning. Somebody is trying to create news. I can say about NCP that all our colleagues are of one thinking of how to make the party stronger, and there is no other thought in anybody’s mind,” the NCP chief said.