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Home > News > PTI

Nothing political about meeting with Pawar: Thackeray

December 25, 2007 15:29 IST

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In his first comment on the weekend meeting with Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar [Images], which has stirred a hornets' nest in political circles, Shiv Sena chief Bal

Thackeray ridiculed the speculation of a political overtone to their nearly two-hour long one-on-one conversation.

"We are polls apart when it comes to ideological convictions," he asserted.

"Sharadbabu is my friend for the last four decades. He came to inquire about my health. We had a hearty talk which had nothing to do with politics," Thackeray said in Tuesday's editorial of the Sena mouthpiece Saamna.

The Sena patriarch said "I am wedded to Hindutva as a political ideology and if Pawar is to be believed, he is a staunch secularist!"

Thackeray said he had attacked and lambasted Pawar in Maharashara politics as nobody ever did. "But our personal bond of friendship always remained intact."

In a sarcastic expression, he said "I always believed in social causes and never indulged in political machinations to capture power. Sharadbabu belongs to the category of politicians for whom power is their oxygen. He is an expert when it comes to ventilating and supplying this oxygen of power."

"Politics is his oxygen and hobby. But whenever I subjected Sharadbabu to scathing attacks, I never bore any ill will or malice," Thackeray said.

The Sena chief also pilloried the suggestions in the media that the meeting had the backdrop and connotation of the recent outburst of Narayan Rane, a former Sena leader who is now Revenue Minister in Maharashtra's Congress-NCP government, against Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Rane, an ambitious politician who is said to be eyeing the CM's post, is perceived to be a common enemy of both the Sena and NCP.

"I am not concerned with the tamasha in Congress staged by Naryba (Rane). It is a bother for Margaret Alva (Congress General Secretary in-charge of Maharashtra)," Thackeray said.

"Pawar is a heavyweight Central Minister and may even be a future Prime Minister for some people but for me he is only Sharadbabu with whom I share wide interests," he said, adding "whatever transpired between us would remain between us."

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