‘Nothing clandestine about my Pune meeting with Sharad Pawar,’ says nephew Ajit

‘I am not a person who attends meetings in a surreptitious manner. Despite meeting someone in my own family, the media gives it a different colour,’ said Mr. Ajit Pawar

Published - August 15, 2023 03:11 pm IST - Pune

Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar.

Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar. | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

Clearing the air over his recent meeting with uncle, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in Pune, Deputy CM and rebel NCP leader Ajit Pawar on August 15 categorically denied there had been anything “clandestine” about the meet.

“I am not a person who attends meetings in a surreptitious manner. There is no need to read too much into my meeting with Sharad Pawar. Pawar saaheb himself has said he is the father-figure of the Pawar family. I am his nephew by relation. Despite meeting someone in my own family, the media gives it a different colour and creates misunderstandings,” said Mr. Ajit Pawar, speaking in Kolhapur where he attended the flag hoisting ceremony on occasion of Independence Day.

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

On Saturday (August 13), the NCP chief and his nephew met at Pune businessman Atul Chordia’s residence. Sharad Pawar’s confidant, senor NCP leader Jayant Patil was also present.

“The Pawar family have had relations with the Chordia family for over two generations now. Mr. Atul Chordia’s father was Mr. Sharad Pawar’s classmate. Mr. Chordia had invited Pawar saaheb for lunch where Jayant Patil, too, was present. There is no need to read a different meeting into what was a social visit,” said Ajit Pawar, speaking for the first time about the affair.

The Deputy CM laughed off suggestions about the allegedly dramatic nature of his exit from Mr. Chordia’s house, denying he was in a black-colour sedan car which accidently knocked the gate of the businessman’s residence before apparently speeding away to avoid the media glare.

“I was never in that car…I do not attend meetings in a surreptitious manner. Henceforth, any meeting I may have with Mr. Sharad Pawar on occasions like Dussehra or Diwali must be regarded as a family meeting,” he said.

Also read | Sharad Pawar on meeting with Ajit Pawar: ‘What is wrong with meeting my nephew?’

Soon after the Saturday meet, Mr. Sharad Pawar, speaking to reporters in Solapur, had shot back at reporters saying there was nothing wrong in meeting his nephew.

“If a senior person in a family desired to meet another family member, no one ought to have any issue with that,” he said.

This was the fourth time Mr. Ajit Pawar met his uncle since he split Sharad Pawar’s party on July 2 to align himself with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena government.

The repeated meetings between uncle and nephew despite the NCP split has sparked considerable disquiet among Sharad Pawar’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies in the Opposition, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Congress, who suspect Pawar senior’s faction may ally with the BJP despite Sharad Pawar’s denials of the same.

Even as Mr. Thackeray’s Sena (UBT) sharply criticised Mr. Pawar for the repeated meetings with his nephew while the Congress demanded the NCP chief ought to dispel the confusion over them, the octogenarian Mr. Pawar has maintained the Opposition MVA coalition remained united and that he would never ally with the BJP.

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