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NEW DELHI: Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said no to Sharad Pawar’s dinner diplomacy as he declined the senior leader’s invite citing unavailability of time. In a surprise move, Sharad Pawar had invited chief minister Eknath Shinde and the two deputy CMs including his estranged nephew Ajit Pawar, for dinner at his residence in Baramati on March 2.
Shinde and his deputies, all political rivals of Sharad Pawar, will be attending a job fair, ‘Namo Maharojgar Melava’, in the premises of Vidya Pratishthan college in Baramati town of Pune district on March 2. The Rajya Sabha MP, in a letter addressed to Shinde, said as president of Vidya Pratishthan, he would be glad to welcome the CM on the premises of the educational institute. He urged Shinde along with Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar to accept his invitation for a meal at his residence in Baramati, ‘Govindbaug, after the event at Vidya Pratishthan.
Replying to Sharad Pawar, Fadnavis in his letter highlighted the efforts of Ajit Pawar in the project and said he cannot accept the invitation as he will be engaged in important programmes on March 2.
“I received the letter written by you, as well as an invitation for dinner from you. As you are aware that after the efforts of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, the Namo Maharojgar Melava is being organized in Baramati. This big programme will be held in Baramati, after that, the bhoomi pujan of the memorial of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj will be held in Badhu Budruk and Tuljapur and immediately after that, the bhoomi pujan of the memorial of revolutionary Lahuji Vastad Salve is scheduled. The whole day is going to be very busy as two important programmes are being organized one after the other. Therefore, I will not be able to accept your urgent invitation this time. Thank you once again,” the Maharashtra deputy CM said.
Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, which has been represented by Sharad Pawar for long, is currently held by his daughter Supriya Sule. There are reports that Ajit Pawar, who has got the name and symbol of NCP, is contemplating fielding its candidate in Baramati. Ajit Pawar had parted ways with Sharad Pawar in July last year and had joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government. He subsequently got the party name and also the clock symbol.


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