Nationalist Congress President (NCP) chief on Tuesday claimed that he was aware of the talks between his nephew Ajit Pawar and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis but didn't realise he would join hands with him. In an interview with NDTV, Pawar said that it was wrong to assume that Ajit Pawar had his blessings when he formed the government with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis. "It is absolutely wrong to say this would not have happened without my knowledge," he told the news channel.
On November 23, when NCP was giving a final touchup to its coalition with Shiv Sena, Ajit Pawar had shocked everyone and took oath as the deputy chief minister along with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis, who sworn-in as the chief minister in an early morning ceremony. Pawar said that he too was shocked to see that his nephew had gone to this extent.
Referring to his widely reported claim that he had turned down PM Modi's offer to "work together in Maharashtra", Pawar said that Modi had not offered her daughter Supriya Sule a cabinet berth during their meeting on November 20. "Prime Minister never said this about any portfolio. He said she is doing a good job in parliament," the NCP chief said.
Although Pawar suggested having harmonious relations with PM Modi, he said that it was easier to work with Shiv Sena, a party that supports hardline Hindutva, than the BJP, which also has the same saffron ideology. "Working with the Sena is easier than working with the BJP," he added.
Earlier on Monday, news agency PTI quoting Pawar from his interview with a regional channel had claimed that he rejected an offer from PM Modi to "work together" in Maharashtra.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi had insisted on working together with me, as on some issues we have similar opinions. But I refused his offer," news agency PTI quoted Pawar as telling a regional news channel. The media reports had reported a claim from Pawar that Supriya Sule was offered a post in the Narendra Modi Cabinet.