Mumbai: Congress downplays news on 
Sharad Pawar and Amit Shah meet

Congress has broken its silence and said that does not give any importance to the news surrounding the meeting that took place between Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Clarifying its stand, Congress leader and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that NCP has already issued clarification. “The opposition continues to spread such news that the media plays up,” he noted.

Congress does not attach much importance to such news, he added. “Last night, I spoke to Member of the Parliament (MP) Supriya Sule to inquire about NCP chief Sharad Pawar's health. She also spoke on how people are creating differences and misunderstandings. If they want to meet, they can meet wherever they desire in Delhi," said Thorat.

The revenue minister also slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for making an issue out of anything. Thorat's comment came after NCP repeatedly denied any meeting between Pawar and Shah. It has also ruled out a possibility of BJP and NCP joining hands together to form the government in the near future in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena has also said no secret meeting took place between Pawar and Shah.

However, BJP has reiterated that Shah and Pawar may have met. It also added that Pawar’s decision to tie up BJP and NCP will be in the better interest of the party.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had suggested that Pawar should become United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson. Thorat urged the MP to be careful before making any comments and said that Sonia Gandhi will ‘remain the head of UPA for a long time’. “Raut is a senior leader. He should be careful before making any comments, he said.

Shiv Sena shares power with the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra. However, it is not part of the Congress-led UPA. The Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', of which Raut is the executive editor, had also recently created a flutter by stating in an editorial that if Pawar became the UPA chief, it will benefit the alliance. Parties such as Shiv Sena and Akali Dal should also come under the UPA umbrella to take on BJP, it had said.

Maharashtra Congress leaders recently asked the Shiv Sena leader to desist from making such comments as his party is not even part of the UPA. State Congress chief Nana Patole had also asked if Raut was the spokesperson of Pawar.

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