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"Have received no such offer”: Supriya Sule rejects Congress claim of central cabinet berth

Mumbai: Reacting to a media report of Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan, claiming that a central cabinet berth had been offered to NCP stalwart Sharad Pawar or his daughter Supriya Sule, the latter on Wednesday said no one has approached her with an offer of a portfolio.
Hitting back at the Congress, she said the party leaders should introspect on why they were making such statements.
Speaking to the reporters in Mumbai, Sule said, "I have received no such offer and neither has anyone had any conversations on those lines with me. You should ask them (Maharashtra Congress leaders) why they are giving such statements. I have no idea. I am personally in touch with senior Congress leaders such as Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Gaurav Gogoi but I am not in touch with any of their leaders in Maharashtra."
Earlier, on Wednesday, Congress leader and the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar, questioned the recent meeting between Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar, who heads the rival faction of the party. 
Ajit Pawar, along with 8 loyalist MLAs, engineered a split in the NCP earlier this year. The rival faction joined the ruling NDA government in the state, with Ajit Pawar taking oath as the deputy chief minister.
Wadettiwar claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had put forward a condition for Ajit Pawar to be made the Maharashtra CM — that he has to convince his uncle to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre.
"Why is Ajit Pawar frequently meeting Sharad Pawar? The BJP's position in the state has improved even after they engineered a split in two parties (NCP, Shiv Sena). Hence, they are having to turn to Sharad Pawar as he is a mass leader. Without his help, the BJP won't win more Lok Sabha seats from the state next year," he said.
"Another reason (for the meetings) is that Narendra Modi has told Ajit Pawar that he cannot become the chief minister unless he can convince Sharad Pawar to come on board (join NDA)," Wadettiwar said. 
Meanwhile, the core committee meeting of the Maharashtra Congress was underway in Mumbai on Wednesday. 
Earlier, on Monday, Congress leader Nana Patole hit out at Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and his uncle over the secret meeting held at Pune, saying that such meetings were creating confusion among the people.
"Such meetings are creating confusion among the people. If they are relatives, what was the need for them to meet secretly?" he said.
Sharad Pawar, himself, scotched speculations of his switch to the NDA, which gained ground following his meeting with Ajit Pawar, saying that it was not a secret meeting as was reported.
"What is wrong with me meeting my nephew? How it could be a secret when it was held at someone’s residence? I was at his (Ajit Pawar's) residence," he said.
Patole added that the Congress was keeping an eye on the developments in Maharashtra politics and will raise the issue in the upcoming INDIA meeting in Mumbai.
"Talks have also been held with our leader Rahul Gandhi in this regard. The Congress high command is also keeping an eye on this. The matter will also be up for discussion during the INDIA meeting in Mumbai," he said. 
Leaders of the united Opposition, under the banner of Indian National Developmental Democratic Alliance (INDIA), are scheduled to hold their third meeting in Mumbai over two days — August 31 and September 1, Congress sources said earlier.

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