Pawar, Thackeray show unity on stage
The interview was organised as a part of an event ‘Shodh Marathi Manacha’ by Jagatik Marathi Academy, whose head Ramdas Phutane, a poet, shares proximity with Pawar and the Congress.pune Updated: Feb 22, 2018 15:44 IST
The bonhomie between Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar was clearly on display on Wednesday when the former interviewed the latter in Pune at a public event, triggering talks of a possible realignment of forces in the state.
The interview was organised as a part of an event ‘Shodh Marathi Manacha’ by Jagatik Marathi Academy, whose head Ramdas Phutane, a poet, shares proximity with Pawar and the Congress.
In the 120-minute interview, Thackeray and Pawar found common target in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, amid hurling praises at each other. Thackeray, while asking Pawar about his prime ministerial ambition, said that he would be most happy if the NCP chief leads the nation.
Pawar, too, while replying to another question by Thackeray, said that he sees youth in large numbers standing behind the MNS chief. “It will be very good if you as a leader can lead the youth in the right direction,” Pawar said agreeing with Thackeray on many issues ranging from reservation (which they agreed should be on economic criterion rather than caste) and also Gujaratis coming in large numbers to Mumbai to take control of the economy.
While replying to a question on various castes demanding reservation, Pawar said, “Time has come to think of reservation based on economic conditions rather than caste.”
When asked about what troubles him in the current scenario in Maharashtra, Pawar said that the growing hatred based on caste and creed is the worrying factor in the state. “Unfortunately, some caste-based outfits are expanding their roots in the state. These elements are getting encouragement from those in power,” Pawar said.
On the issue of bullet train being started by Modi, the NCP chief expressed his fears that the initiative will lead to more Gujaratis coming to Mumbai to take control of the economy. “I don’t think anyone will go to Ahmedabad in the bullet train. Rather people from Ahmedabad will come to Mumbai,” he said.
First Published: Feb 22, 2018 15:43 IST