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Ahmed Patel, Gadkari meet that raises eyebrows

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Union minister Nitin Gadkari and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel (file photos)

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Wednesday met BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, triggering speculation in view of the stalemate in government formation in Maharashtra.

However, Patel, Congress Treasurer, insisted that politics was not discussed at all during his meeting with Gadkari, who hails from Maharashtra.

He said he went to meet Gadkari on the issue of farmers. He also released a letter written to Gadkari regarding MSME sector of Gujarat, raising concern about the increasing bad loans in it.

He said bad loans in MSME sector in Gujarat had risen to 23 per cent in the first quarter.

"I would also like to bring to your notice the urgent need to expand the Central government's MSME-Cluster Development program to Gujarat as tribal districts. It's important that we are able to develop industrial clusters in states' most backward regions," Patel wrote in the letter.

"The MSME sector is backbone of the Indian economy. The employment crisis and the economic slowdown will not be solved unless we resolve the problems of small businesses," he said.

He wrote that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a scheme under which a loan is supposed to be given in 59 minutes "but the reality on the ground is contrary to this announcement as in Gujarat, 70 per cent of the applications for loans are rejected."

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