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Pawar misquoted on Rafale, relationship with Congress good: NCP's Supriya Sule


ANI Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Sept 28 (ANI): Clearing the air on Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar's reported statement on the Rafale jet deal controversy, Lok Sabha MP and Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule, in an exclusive interview to ANI on Friday, said that her father was misquoted by Marathi media outlets and rubbished the subsequent perception that saw the NCP and Sharad Pawar drift away from the opposition created against the BJP.
Pawar had earlier told a Marathi television channel that "people do not have doubts" over Prime Minister Modi's intention. This statement was widely propagated by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including party president Amit Shah, stressing on the point that the party had found an endorsement from the opposition camp on the Rafale deal.
"The thing which he (Pawar) is being quoted that he has given a clean chit to (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi is not true. Those who are saying so have either not heard or seen his interview or they are twisting it intentionally. What he said was "it seems that there is no doubt in people's mind" and that was not a clean chit, actually he was talking about people's perceptions not his opinion," Sule told ANI.
"How is Mr Pawar to be blamed if a journalist made a headline out of context? Everybody making allegations should watch and hear the interview entirely. When Mr Pawar has asked for a JPC, he is saying that something is not clear. The entire issue is blown out of proportion, completely misquoted and is been used to people's advantages," Sule added.
Taking dig at the BJP president's remarks, Sule said: "I welcome Amit Shah's statement and if he really agreed with Mr Pawar's statement, then BJP should form JPC at the earliest."
"Pawar Sahab said three things which people conveniently chose to ignore. One, there should be a clarification about the price escalation of the jets. Two, he demanded for Joint Parliamentary Committee to conduct an inquiry on Rafale. And, three, he talked about Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) double standards about JPC -- they demanded for Bofors and now they are avoiding it for Rafale," Sule said.
Upset with Pawar's reported statement, senior NCP leader Tariq Anwar on Friday resigned from the party and as member of Parliament (MP) to protest against the party leadership's apparent support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the controversial Rafale deal. Anwar, a Lok Sabha MP from Bihar's Katihar and a close associate of Pawar, expressed shock at his leadership's stance on the controversy and had expected a strong stand by the party demanding investigation into the whole deal.
Responding to Anwar's resignation, Sule said that if only he had spoken to her or Pawar the confusion would have been over. "I would like to ask Tariq if he has heard the interview. Has he seen the interview? Life is not about perception it is about reality, especially, when you are working with an organisation for 20 years. Tariq Bhai has been with party for last 20 years. He was our senior leader, two times Rajya Sabha and once a Loka Sabha MP from NCP. He was sent to Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra. And he didn't even talk to Pawar Sahab or me about that statement before giving that resignation. It is very disappointing. He talked to me once yesterday and that too was about some Parliamentary committee visit. And he never discussed this issue of Mr Pawar's statement before his resignation. It is disappointing for a such a senior leader to react so impulsively without knowing the truth," Sule added in an interview to ANI.
She further clarified that the NCP and the Congress have a good relationship, and the coalition is intact. "This falsehood can't damage that relationship. I am in constant touch with Congress leaders and they have no doubts about Mr Pawar's statement or stand," Sule said.

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First Published: Sep 28 2018 | 7:45 PM IST

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