Pawar offers apology over nephew Ajit''s remarks

Kolhapur, Feb 11 (PTI) Calling for an end to thecontroversy over nephew and Maharashtra Deputy Chief MinisterAjit Pawar''s remarks about media, Agriculture Minister SharadPawar today said he had no qualms about tendering a publicapology if Ajit had used abusive language about journalists.

"I have been reading about it (the controversy) innewspapers and as the chief of NCP, I won''t mind tendering apublic apology if any derogatory language has been used,"Pawar told reporters here.

However, in the same breath, the NCP chief put theonus on media, saying, "journalists know better what to doif it (allegations that Ajit Pawar abused media) turns outto be false."

"As party chief, I won''t have qualms about offering apublic apology. Here, if language of force has been used, Ihave no problem in (tendering) apology," he said.

Ajit Pawar accused journalists of fabricating storieslast week at a function in Nanded district and criticised themedia for allegedly indulging in untruths and half-truths andsuggested a gag on those indulging in such methods, which ledto the controversy.

The Agriculture Minister also suggested that committeeof senior journalists should be set up and review thestatement. "I would suggest to set up a committee of seniorjournalists like Arun Sadhu and Kumar Ketkar to review thestatements (by Ajit Pawar)," he said.

Media in Maharashtra is at loggerheads with Ajit Pawarand there is an ongoing agitation by journalists, whichincludes non-coverage of his functions, over his remarks.


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