You’re not in­vited, Mr CM: NCP

Party says move to keep Deven­dra Fad­navis out of its apo­lit­i­cal func­tions taken af­ter peo­ple’s ques­tions and to avoid any un­nec­es­sary mis­un­der­stand­ing

Mid Day - - CITY - DHARMENDRA JORE dharmendra.jore@mid-day.com

CHIEF Min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis is now per­sona non grata at fe­lic­i­ta­tion func­tions of the Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party (NCP).

NCP leader Ajit Pawar said yes­ter­day that be­cause Fad­navis’s pres­ence at such func­tions in the past had been ques­tioned by peo­ple, cre­at­ing un­nec­es­sary po­lit­i­cal mis­un­der­stand­ing, his party took the de­ci­sion.

“We have no en­mity with the CM,” said Ajit, and tried to jus­tify why lead­ers in Ma­ha­rash­tra at­tended apo­lit­i­cal func­tions or­gan­ised by coun­ter­parts in op­po­si­tion par­ties.

“It’s cus­tom­ary for us to at­tend apo­lit­i­cal func­tions where lead­ers and work­ers from var­i­ous par­ties gather to cel­e­brate an in­di­vid­ual. But we have seen that some events have con­fused the masses,” he told me­dia per­sons at the party of­fice.

Yes or no?

There have been many in­stances in the past when lead­ers of var­i­ous par­ties have at­tended birth­day func­tions, book re­leases and so­cial events. Re­cently, the CM was in­vited to state NCP pres­i­dent Su­nil Tatkare’s fe­lic­i­ta­tion and for­mer speaker (also NCP) Dilip Walse Patil’s event. He, how­ever, skipped the for­mer af­ter be­ing ques­tioned on var­i­ous fo­rums, in­clud­ing so­cial me­dia, why he would at­tend a cel­e­bra­tion for Tatkare who is fac­ing an in­quiry in the ir­ri­ga­tion scam, which the CM him­self along with par­ty­men had ex­posed when they were in Op­po­si­tion.

Fad­navis at­tended Walse Patil’s do in Mumbai and heaped praise on the for­mer speaker. At this func­tion, Sharad Pawar, Union min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari, state Congress pres­i­dent Ashok Cha­van and Shiv Sena lead­ers among oth­ers were present.

Fad­navis has shared dais with Pawar se­nior on many oc­ca­sions. Even Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi was in­vited to Pawar’s home­town Bara­mati. Like top lead­ers from all other par­ties, Modi had at­tended Pawar’s 75th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion.

‘Hos­tile’ me­dia blamed

Gen­er­ally, any sign of prox­im­ity be­tween NCP and BJP is seen as a move to con­sol­i­date the for­mer’s sup­port for sta­bil­is­ing the Fad­navis gov­ern­ment. The NCP had given BJP sup­port from out­side in 2014 even while all Assem­bly re­sults hadn’t been de­clared. The scep­ti­cism re­mains in the po­lit­i­cal cir­cles even now, de­spite Pawar se­nior rul­ing out any fur­ther sup­port to the BJP if the Sena pulled out.

A se­nior NCP leader told mid-day that Ajit’s an­nounce­ment was not nat­u­ral, but a re­sult of the way “hos­tile” me­dia and ac­tivists pur­sue the pres­ence of po­lit­i­cal lead­ers at apo­lit­i­cal events or­gan­ised by other par­ties. “Ma­ha­rash­tra’s pol­i­tics should be seen dif­fer­ently from other states. We have some tra­di­tions and cus­toms that we try to fol­low as ma­ture politi­cians. Our po­lit­i­cal his­tory is so rich... Lead­ers who fought in the field and in the leg­is­la­ture do come to­gether at events that are be­yond pol­i­tics,” he said.

REP­RE­SEN­TA­TION PIC

Fad­navis has shared dais with Sharad Pawar on many oc­ca­sions.

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