NCP leader Supriya Sule on Tuesday said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was “denied permission” to speak in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a temple inauguration event in Dehu near Pune city, and dubbed it an insult to the state. The prime minister inaugurated a shila (rock) temple at the Sant Tukaram Maharaj Mandir dedicated to the 17th-century saint in Dehu.
Devendra Fadnavis, the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, spoke just before Modi delivered his speech on the program. Talking to reporters in Amravati, Sule, a Lok Sabha MP, said Pawar, a senior NCP leader, had requested the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to allow him to speak at the event.
She said as the Guardian Minister of Pune district and Deputy Chief Minister, Pawar had received Modi at the Lohegaon airport on his arrival. Dada’s (Ajit Pawar) office had requested that he be allowed to speak because he is the Deputy Chief Minister and the Guardian Minister of Pune. But the PMO declined permission for Dada to give his speech, Sule said, adding she was sharing this information after verifying it from Pawar’s office.
This is an insult to Maharashtra. If our Deputy Chief Minister is on the stage then it is his right to speak, said the Member of Parliament from Baramati in Pune district. Whether to allow Fadnavis to speak is their personal matter but Ajit Pawar should have been allowed to speak at the Dehu event,” the NCP leader said.
She maintained the incident was very hurtful, shocking and distressing. “Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis was given an opportunity to speak at the Prime minister’s event at Dehu, but the state’s chief minister Ajit Pawar was not allowed to speak. This is an insult to Maharashtra,” Sule later tweeted.
NCP legislator Amol Mitkari, too, concurred with Sule’s views.