Ajit Pawar Denies Rift With Ekanth Shinde

Mumbai: After skipping CM residence ‘Varsha’ during Ganesh festival, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has denied a rift with chief minister Eknath Shinde by saying that it was not intentional.

There are rumours that the relations between Shinde and Pawar have deteriorated in the last few days. The absence of Pawar at the CM’s official residence during the recently concluded Ganeshotsav had also fuelled the speculations of the rift between these top leaders.

However, Pawar denied the reports saying that he could not go to Varsha as he was busy in Pune’s Ganeshotsav.

“I could not make it to the chief minister’s official residence during Ganesh festival as I was busy visiting Ganesh mandals in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune city. I did not do it deliberately,” Pawar said in Baramati, where he launched a cleanliness drive on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

“I must have visited 60 Ganesh mandals in Pimpri-Chinchwad and 15 in Pune city. I also visited Lalbaugcha (Raja) Ganpati and Siddhivinayak in Mumbai. So there is no need to blow up the news (of not visiting CM’s residence) unnecessarily,” he added.

Ever since Pawar has joined the Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra, there are allegations, especially by the Shinde-camp MLAs, that the former has been interfering in the functioning of other ministers. Pawar recently held review meetings on several issues, which belonged to the portfolios of the ministers of Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the BJP.

The Baramati strongman has also expressed his desire to become the chief minister of the state, raising question mark over Shinde’s future as the leader of the government. Several MLAs from his group are also asserting that Pawar will soon become the CM of Maharashtra.

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