Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital for nearly an hour on Saturday fuelling speculations about the political situation in Maharashtra. Prime Minister's Office or PMO tweeted a photo of their meeting, which also took place after speculation a few days ago that Sharad Pawar could be the presidential candidate. However, the NCP chief rubbished these speculations.
On Friday, the newly-appointed leader of Rajya Sabha and Union minister Piyush Goyal held consultations with Pawar along with former prime minister Manmohan Singh and senior Congress leader Anand Sharma ahead of the monsoon session, government officials said.
NCP & BJP can never be allies
The speculations generated by the meeting was serious enough for NCP spokesman Nawab Malik to call a press conference in Mumbai and debunk reports that the Pawar-Modi meet had implications for the state government. Malik said NCP and BJP were like two ends of a river, which can never meet because they are ideologically opposite. He also said that Pawar had informed CM Thackeray as well as Congress leaders about the proposed meeting a few days ago.
“It was a scheduled meeting. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and AICC general secretary H K Patil were also aware about the meeting. Prima facie, Pawar knocked at the doors of the PM to express concern over the amendments to the banking regulation act and creation of the ministry of cooperation led by Amit Shah. Pawar has written a comprehensive letter to the PM,” Malik said.
“First Pawar spoke to the PM on the anti-bank amendments, but then PM felt that it will be better if there is personal discussion. Accordingly, Pawar met Modi,’’ Malik added. Later, Pawar tweeted a letter he wrote to the PM about the amendment in the Banking Act.