Sena’s Raut speaks out on Pawar-Shah meet: ‘No such secret meeting happened’

Local media in Gujarat flashed the news of Sharad Pawar and his party colleague Praful Patel meeting Union home minister Amit Shah in Ahmedabad on March 27

Shiv Sena, Maharashtra
Sanjay Raut said that even if the two leaders did meet secretly, why and how the news came out in the public.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut finally responded to an alleged secret meeting between Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

“Some things should be clarified in time or else it creates confusion. I am absolutely confident that no such secret meeting happened between Pawar sahib and Amit Shah in Ahmedabad or anywhere. Let’s stop the rumours right here. It will not get anyone anything,” Raut tweeted on Monday (March 29).

A day before, local media in Gujarat flashed the news of Sharad Pawar and his party colleague Praful Patel meeting Union home minister Amit Shah in Ahmedabad on March 27.

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When asked to comment on the ‘secret’ meeting, Shah had said, “Everything cannot be made public.”

“Amit Shah is known for meeting leaders from different parties. I don’t see any reason to raise eyebrows over a rumoured meeting between Sharad Pawar and Amit Shah. In fact, a dialogue between leaders of opposition (rival) parties is good. I am saying this provided they actually met each other in Ahmedabad,” Raut was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Raut said that even if the two leaders did meet secretly, why and how the news came out in the public.

The news of the ‘secret’ meeting between the two towering leaders (Pawar and Shah) of opposite political camps assumes significance in the backdrop of the political crisis in Maharashtra over corruption charges against state home minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh.

Former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh let the cat out of the bag when he accused Deshmukh of ordering police personnel, particularly suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, to collect Rs 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants in the city.

Vaze is the prime accused in the Ambani bomb scare case and is also being questioned in the death of auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran, whose SUV was parked outside Ambani’s house in February.

Also read: Lockdown 2.0 likely, says Uddhav as Maha logs 40k new COVID cases

Sena MP suggests restrictions instead of lockdown

No political party in Maharashtra is in favour of imposing a complete lockdown.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to put restrictions in place to contain the spread of the virus instead of a complete lockdown. “We should break the chain of transmission which is possible if several restrictions are clamped to prevent overcrowding at public places,” Raut said.

Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil too was against lockdown and asked the state to increase testing.

Also read: Pawar questions timing of top cop’s charges against Home Minister

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who has maintained so far that no lockdown will be imposed in Pune, said that a decision on lockdown in the city will be taken on April 2.

Maharashtra recorded over 40,000 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of new infections in the last three days to more than 1 lakh.

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