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Congress downplays Pawar-Thackeray meet

Source: PTI
February 08, 2010 12:02 IST
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The Congress on Monday refused to read any political overtures in the meeting between its ally Nationalist Congress Party's chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray in Mumbai, saying it was to ensure the conduct of a hassle-free IPL.

"We don't see any political overtures in the meeting. According to media reports, his visit was not as a minister or as the chief of NCP, but as the head of a cricketing body," party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said.

Asked whether the meeting is not sending a wrong signal, as it comes after the war of words between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and the Shiv Sena, Ahmed said it should not be looked at in this perspective. He said Pawar had met Thackeray to ensure a hassle-free IPL, as the Sena had decided to protest the presence of Australian players in IPL.

Asked whether Pawar's meeting with Thackeray was a snub to the Congress, another party spokesperson Abhishekh Manu Singhvi said, "I don't agree on the use of the word 'snub'. If Pawar has met Thackeray to prevent the politics of disruption in cricketing matters, I don't see any reason for people to speculate. If he has met him for any other reason, it is for Pawar to explain."

On whether the party would seek an explanation from the NCP, Singhvi said, "There is no question of one political party asking another political party. That can happen only in a government or at the coalition level."

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