After spitting row, Sanjay Raut, Ajit Pawar lock horns again in verbal wartext_fields
Pune: Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Sanjay Raut and Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Ajit Pawar took jibes at each other on Saturday, triggering a war of words further straining their ties even as Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance partners are trying to firm up their unity ahead of the elections next year.
It all began on Friday with a ‘spitting incident’.
During his daily press conference in Mumbai, Raut was asked about Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s son Shrikant’s jibe against Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Shrikant, an MP from Kalyan, had attacked Thackeray, saying that he might be touring abroad as he could not tolerate the Mumbai heat.
Raut heard the question and when he came to know it was Shrikant Shinde, Raut spat on the ground. The incident was caught on camera.
While speaking to reporters in Pune on Saturday, Ajit Pawar said, “Everyone should adopt restraint. We have a culture, a tradition and history… Yashwantrao Chavan has shown us how a cultured Maharashtra can make its contribution… I have heard that Sanjay Raut was suffering from some ailment and therefore had to spit…”
Raut was quick to hit back at Pawar, taking a dig at a controversial remark he made in 2013. “It is better to spit than urinate in the dam,” Raut said.
Ajit Pawar while speaking in Indapur taluka in April 2013, referred to the hunger strike by drought-affected farmers at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan, had said, “He has been on fast for the last 55 days. (But) If there is no water in the dam, how can we release it? Should we urinate into it? If there is no water to drink, even urinating is not possible.” Pawar had later apologised for his remarks.
“We know what we have suffered. After suffering so much, our feet are firmly planted on the ground. I am standing strongly with my party…We are not thinking of changing the party…Just because we are facing trouble does not mean we should join hands with a party like BJP”, Raut had then hit back at Pawar whose growing proximity to the BJP has unnerved the NCP.
Responding to Raut, Ajit Pawar said, “If he (Raut) says anything, it does not cause a dent in us…They are big people. We respect them, what they speak is their right.”
When contacted, Raut said, “The topic has ended for me…”
The state unit of the NCP responded that instead of targeting BJP, MVA leaders are attacking their own house.
“This kind of verbal war is uncalled for. MVA leaders should target BJP and not taunt our own leaders. Our leader Ajit Pawar has spoken rightly. He has called for adopting restraint and maintaining decency and decorum in public life. These kinds of remarks are not good for the health of MVA when we are trying to unitedly fight the BJP,” said Mahesh Tapase, spokesperson of NCP.