The Buzz of the Pawar-Shah Gathering Adds Spice to the Maharashtra Saga | India News
NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: Amid speculation of a “meeting” with CPN leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel in Ahmedabad, Interior Minister Amit Shah said Sunday that “everything does not need to be made public” .
The cryptic response, which went to no denying whether he had met the NCP duo, came after speculation swirled during the day of a secret meeting. NCP, however, came out with a formal denial late at night. “There was no such meeting, it is a BJP conspiracy,” NCP spokesman Nawab Malik told TOI.
It is a fact that Pawar and Patel were in Ahmedabad but they never met Shah. It is news planted to divert attention from the main issues, “Malik said.
Sources confirmed that Shah, as well as Pawar and Patel were in Ahmedabad on Saturday, but it was unclear whether they met. The development came as tensions sparked by the sensational plot to extort industrialist Mukesh Ambani escalated among MVA voters and sparked speculation in the country’s political and financial capitals.
Amit Shah, BJP sources said, had taken time out of his busy election schedule to meet his two granddaughters, whom he adores. Also, sources in Ahmedabad business and political circles said that Pawar and Patel, who were in Jaipur, had stopped in Ahmedabad on their way back to Mumbai and were hosted by industrialist Gautam Adani.
However, there was no confirmation that any of them met Shah at Adani’s residence or anywhere else in Ahmedabad.
Pawar and Patel’s original plan was to visit the Statue of Unity together with Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani. However, the plan was shelved due to the increase in Covid-19 cases. They decided to make a detour to Ahmedabad on their way back to Mumbai and after landing at Ahmedabad Airport at 9.30pm, they headed straight for Adani’s residence.
Sources said they stayed overnight and left the next morning after breakfast.
If the lack of verifiable information about the “meeting” failed to quell speculation, it only partly has to do with Shah refraining from mocking her. The drone gained strength due to the timing. Sunday also saw CPN member and deputy from Maharashtra, CM Ajit Pawar, objecting to Seine MP Sanjay Raut attacking Anil Deshmukh by saying that the latter took over the household department after Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse-Patil will be retiring.
The sense of intrigue over the mere chance that Shah and the NCP duo were in Ahmedabad in the middle of a busy election campaign season had not diminished even after Nawab Malik blamed unbridled curiosity on a BJP conspiracy.