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Sharad Pawar refutes report of his 'secret' meeting with Narendra Modi

NCP chief Sharad Pawar today slammed as "completely mischievous" and "baseless" a media report about his meeting with BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in New Delhi

"News of my meeting with Narendra Modi in New Delhi on January 17 appeared in a newspaper. (It) is completely mischievous, baseless & false," the Agriculture Minister said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Sharad Pawar and Narendra Modi

Pawar's tweets followed a front page report in a Marathi newspaper that the NCP chief is understood to have secretly met Modi in New Delhi on that day. "During state visits or in Chief Ministers conferences in Delhi, I meet CM's and barring these occasions, never met Modi in the last one year," Pawar, whose party is the second largest constituent of the Congress-led UPA, said in another tweet.

The report claimed that the meeting had lasted nearly 30 minutes and that even senior leaders of the NCP and the BJP were not aware of it. The meeting signals that the hands of the "clock" (symbol of NCP) is turning towards the "lotus" (symbol of BJP), the report had said. NCP chief spokesperson D P Tripathi said, "Pawar was not even in Delhi on the day when the meeting was supposed to have taken place".

NCP is in alliance with the Congress and sharing power in Maharashtra since 1999, months after Pawar parted ways with Congress on the issue of Sonia Gandhi s foreign origin. NCP is part of the UPA at the Centre for the past 10 years.

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