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Pawar maintains silence on Patil's arrest


Rupashree Nanda,CNN-IBN
Jun 09, 2009 at 03:34pm IST

New Delhi: Padamsinh Patil’s arrest came as a body blow to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra. But the party has yet to take any action against the leader and the party chief Sharad Pawar seem to have no answer to the entire episode.

“I don’t want to react this will affect the investigation process. Let them do their job, I have said what I had to say,” says Pawar.

ALSO SEE CBI arrests NCP leader for murder of Cong MP

Patil, who is a close aide and relative of Pawar, is charged with killing a Congress leader in 2006 in Navi Mumbai.

This embarrassing episode has been grabbed with glee by the Opposition.

In Maharasthra, the BJP and the Shiv Sena together walked out of the assembly. And in the Capital, the ally Congress is using the issue as a bait to pressurise Pawar ahead of the state elections.

“I had expected from Pawar that he would have taken action against Patil,” says Congress senior leader Gopinath Munde.

“The person who has been killed belongs to my party – Congress,” says Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Patil is the face of the NCP in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. This is a region that comes with 48 assembly seats. If Pawar acts against Patil, he runs the risk of losing ground in this area.

“It is not a party matter and if the charges are proved against him then the NCP people will completely disassociate from the person concerned,” says NCP leader Praful Patel.

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