Nationalist Congress Party asks Devendra Fadnavis to stay away from apolitical functions

Nov 15, 2017, 13:49 IST | Dharmendra Jore

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

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

Fadnavis has shared dais with Sharad Pawar on many occasions. Representational Image
Fadnavis has shared dais with Sharad Pawar on many occasions. Representational Image

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.


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