Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who was in the city yesterday, attended several events — apart from his other public appointments — but preferred to give the biggest happening a miss. Chavan didn’t attend one of the most popular public events, which was christened as the Pune International Marathon on September 25, 1983 by Former Indian Olympic Association (IOA) boss Suresh Kalmadi.
Despite being reportedly approached by people close to Kalmadi, Chavan decided against attending the marathon. Mohan Joshi, MLC and once Kalmadi’s close aide, said, “I don’t know the exact reason. I guess he didn’t attend the event, as he would have been with preoccupied with other programmes.” However, Anant Gadgil, state Congress general secretary and spokesperson, without making any direct comment on either Kalmadi or the event, remarked, “The CM has exhibited his political maturity in Pune.”
While Chavan’s cabinet colleagues Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam and Co-operatives Minister Harshavardhan Patil flagged off the event, MLC and ex-MoS for Home Ramesh Bagwe, and former chairperson of PMC’s Education Board Sangeeta Tiwari were present at the mega event.