Pawar Amid Rumours of Rift

NCP president Sharad Pawar on Thursday said his recent meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray focused on how to expedite development programmes of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and maintained nothing else should be deciphered from it. Talking to reporters here, Pawar said, “No politics was discussed. Our view is that some decisions need to be taken fast. My meeting with the Chief minister was to deliberate on how to expedite the state government’s development programmes. There was no political discussion.”

The NCP leader, whose party is a key constituent in the Shiv Sena-led MVA government, had called on Thackeray here two days ago amid speculation in political circles about differences among the ruling coalition partners. The Congress is the third partner in the MVA, a coalition of parties which have different ideologies.

The 80-year-old former Union agriculture minister refused to respond to questions on speculation that there was pressure on the NCP to withdraw from the MVA and that several firms belonging the Pawar family were being served notices by the ED.”This question is not relevant here,” he said.

Pawar was talking to reporters here after a virtual inauguration of the DY Patil Agriculture University in Kolhapur.Asked about the election for the post of assembly speaker, Pawar said the MVA allies will discuss the candidate suggested by the Congress and take a decision.

“When the MVA government was formed, the speaker’s post went to the Congress. Whichever candidate’s name the Congress gives, it should be finalised by all the allies after discussion,” the veteran politician said.The post fell vacant after Congress MLA Nana Patole resigned in February to take over as the party’s state unit president.

Maha Govt Favours Amendments in 3 Farm Laws: Pawar

Pawar said the Centre should hold talks with farmers from North India who are protesting against the new agriculture laws for the last seven months. “The Centre should step up dialogue with them. Bringing political differences in the issue was wrong,” he added.

The NCP leader said the Maharashtra government favours amendments in the three new farm laws enacted by the Centre last year before their implementation in the state. “A dialogue has begun in that direction. A cabinet sub-committee headed by Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat is looking into it. I am not sure whether amendments will be introduced in the two-day monsoon session of the state legislature beginning from Monday (July 5),” he said.

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