The Congress today refused to read any political overtures in the meeting between NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray in Mumbai, saying it was to ensure conduct of a hassle-free IPL.
“We don’t see any political overtures into the meeting. According to media reports, his visit was not as a minister or as NCP chief 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 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 keeping in mind Sena’s decision 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.
“I am sure that he knows how to ensure that there will be no speculation... there will be misunderstanding or misinterpretation of his visit but for that you have to ask him,” he said.
On whether the party would seek an explanation from NCP, Singhvi said, “There is no question of one political party asking another political party. That can happen only in government or at the coalition level.”