This Article is From Jun 29, 2021

Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray Meet Amid Reports Of Maharashtra Alliance Strain

Sources indicated that the discussion could be on Anil Deshmukh and other issues between the ruling MVA alliance.

Other Maharashtra ministers are also present at the meeting, sources said (file)


Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar is meeting Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at his official residence Varsha. Sources said cabinet minister Jeetendra Awhad, Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and Aditya Thackeray are also attending the meeting – the first between the two leaders after a very public row with the Congress and rumours that Shiv Sena is considering a patch-up with the BJP, its ally of 35 years.

Sources indicated that the discussion could be on the issues between the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi alliance and even former minister Anil Deshmukh.

Cracks surfaced within Maharashtra's ruling coalition after Congress leader Nana Patole's comment that the alliance with the Sena has an "expiry date" and in the next assembly polls, his party will fly solo.

As the Sena tried to project unity, Congress's Prithviraj Chavan undid its efforts with a remark that the alliance will have a "Congress Chief Minister" next time.

Earlier this month, Mr Thackeray had a one-on-one with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Shiv Sena explained it as protocol and said it values personal relations irrespective of political affiliations.

For Sharad Pawar's party, the resignation of Amil Deshmukh and the events surrounding it has been a sore point.

In April, Mr Deshmukh had quit citing "moral grounds" after the Bombay High Court ordered a preliminary CBI investigation into corruption allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh. Mr Singh had accused Mr Deshmukh of corruption in police transfers and postings..

On Tuesday, Mr Deshmukh did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate for questioning in connection with a money laundering case. Citing COVID-19 and his old age, the 71-year-old had requested for a virtual interaction.

On Saturday, Mr Deshmukh had sought a fresh date for appearance in the money laundering case.