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Pawar livid at reporter for 'relative' query; seeks apology

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Press Trust of India Ahmednagar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar was on Friday enraged after a journalist questioned him over reports that his relative, former Maharashtra minister Padmasinh Patil, was quitting the party and joining the ruling BJP.
Upset over the use of the term "relative" in connection with the desertion of NCP leaders, Pawar also asked the scribe to apologise and leave the media briefing.
At a press conference held at Shrirampur, Pawar faced questions about a slew of NCP leaders defecting to BJP or Shiv Sena of late, contending they were switching loyalties for "development".
Responding to one such question, the NCP patriarch said, "For the 10-15 years their development took place in this party (NCP) only. They perhaps now want more development and the BJP and Shiv Sena may have shown them some path to attain it."

"I, however, don't have information about what kind of development that is," Pawar said.
A journalist then questioned Pawar that "not only leaders but also relatives" were leaving his 20-year-old party and named Patil, NCP leader from Osmanabad. Patil's sister is married to Pawar's nephew Ajit.
The use of the term "relative" visibly upset Pawar and the reporter's insistence on going ahead with the query despite being rebuked by the former Union minister made him lose his cool.
"Where is the question of a relative here? What you are saying is wrong. Where is the question of relatives in politics?" Pawar asked the reporter.
When the journalist tried to explain his question, the former Union minister got up to leave the press conference, saying he did not want to speak further. He asked the journalist to apologise.
Pawar also said those who lack civility should not be called for the press meeting. "You either call him (the reporter) or you call me," the NCP chief said.
The 79-year-old leader refused to take further queries and with folded hands, asked the journalist to leave the press briefing.
It was after much persuasion from other journalists that Pawar agreed to continue the media briefing and replied to queries on state politics.
The NCP has of late witnessed several of leaders jumping the ship and joining the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena.
NCP MLAs Shivendrasinh Bhosale, Sandip Naik and Vaibhav Pichad quit the party and joined the BJP last month. Before that the NCP's Shahapur MLA Pandurang Barora and its Mumbai unit chief Sachin Ahir too switched allegiance to the Shiv Sena.
Former NCP minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar also joined the Sena recently.
Speculation is rife that NCP's Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale may also join the BJP. Bhosale recently met and heaped praise on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for carrying out developmental works in his Lok Sabha constituency.
Maharashtra Assembly polls are due in October.

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 4:55 PM IST

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