Political speculation over meeting Pawar is nonsense: Thackeray

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Mumbai, Dec 25 (UNI) Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has described speculations in media that his meeting with Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar this weekend was part of a future political strategy as ''nonsense''.

''Mr Pawar has been my family friend for over 40 years. There are better things in life for two friends to share and discuss other than mere politics. He came to my house and inquired about my health.

Some times meeting old friends is like a tonic. Even Mr Pawar might have experienced the same,'' Mr Thackeray wrote in an editorial that appeared in today's issue of his party mouthpiece ''Saamna''.

Mr Thackeray said he was least concerned about media reports attributing their meeting to possible changes in the permutations and combinations in state politics as well as the Centre.

''Whatever transpired during our meeting will remain only with us. Even though it is a bad manner to peek into private conversation of individuals, everybody seems to have become habituated to it,'' he said.

Ridiculing reports that former Shiv Sena leader and State Revenue Minister Narayan Rane's revolt against Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh came up for discussion between them, the Sena supremo shot back, ''Who is this Narayan Rane and why should I break my head over his outburst. Margaret Alva and Prabha Rau are there to look into it. There are better things for friends to talk who meet after a long time,'' he said.

Mr Thackeray said even though he and the NCP leader have remained friends through thick and thin, both were two extremes in terms of political ideology.

''We have never lost an opportunity to attack and defeat each other politically. Our fight has always been restricted to differences on political ideologies and opinions. I have never been vindictive and Mr Pawar knows it,'' he added.

Speaking of Mr Pawar's political abilities, the Sena chief said for people like Mr Pawar, political power had always been like oxygen.

''My friend Mr Pawar knows exactly how and from where the supply of this oxygen is possible,'' he added.

UNI

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