Ahmedabad: Speculations were rife on Sunday that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar met union home minister Amit Shah in Ahmedabad.
At what was known to be a dinner diplomacy event hosted at a Gujarat businessman’s house, Pawar reportedly attended along with his deputy Praful Patel. NDTV also quoted sources that said the police in Ahmedabad had been asked not to register the movements or make special arrangements for the Home Minister as he drove to the host’s mansion.
The media house also said that the menu was vegetarian, confirming that the meeting actually took place.
The news reached social media platforms when newspapers in Gujarat reported that a ‘secret meeting’ was held between the two political leaders.
However, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik rubbished all reports of the meeting.
He was quoted by Times of India, saying, “A newspaper in Gujarat published a piece of news that (Sharad) Pawar sahib and Praful Patel met Amit Shah. For the last two days, rumours are being spread on Twitter. No such meeting took place.”
Furthermore, he accused the BJP of deliberately spreading false information to create confusion.
Hours before NCP spokesperson refuted rumours, Amit Shah dodged a question regarding the meeting with a cryptic response by saying: “Not everything can be made public.”
This buzz comes amidst a political crisis amidst an ongoing crisis in Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, surrounding Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh. Deshmukh is currently in hot waters over allegations of corruption and “interfering with police investigation” in the Ambani bomb-scare case.
Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna even called Deshmukh an “accidental home minister” in an article. The article, written by Chief Editor and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, claimed that Deshmukh was home minister only because senior party leaders like Jayant Patil refused to take up the post. The article also said that as a result, he “forgot that strong leadership requires honesty”.
These allegations have put the Maharashtra government in a tight spot, as they gave the opposition party BJP fresh fodder against the coalition and its parties at the state and central levels.