Stating that he keeps meeting the chief ministers of various states in the country in the capacity of Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar today sought to know what wrong it is to do so.
Pawar was apparently referring to the recent reports in the media about his "secret" meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on January 17.
"As the Union Agriculture Minister, I have the responsibility of increasing the country's food production and the implementation of the Food Security Act and for that purpose, I have to visit various states. I visit West Bengal and meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Similarly, I meet Naveen Patnaik in Odisha; Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh and Narendra Modi when I go to Ahmedabad," the NCP chief said.
"However, suddenly one day newspapers published a news about my meeting with Modi....What is wrong in meeting the chief ministers? Have I met anyone from Pakistan or China? What is wrong in it?" he said adding that a hype was created out of nothing.
On January 31, Pawar had slammed as "completely mischievous" and "baseless" a media report about his meeting with BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi here.
"News of my meeting with Narendra Modi in New Delhi on January 17 appeared in a newspaper. (It) is completely mischievous, baseless & false," the Agriculture Minister said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Pawar's tweets followed a front page report in a Marathi newspaper that he was understood to have secretly met Modi in New Delhi on that day.
While speaking at the inauguration of the Rs 25 crore international indoor stadium of the Thane Municipal Corporation at Dhokali named after him, Pawar advised the elected representatives to political rivalry should be restricted to the elections.
"Once the elections get over, you should think in a wider perspective and work towards the development of the city. You should keep politics away while doing civic work," he said.