Pune: Scoffing speculations on a rift with
Sharad Pawar after losing the post of Deputy Chief Minister,
Maharashtra Minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Sunday asserted that the
NCP president always supported the cause of the OBCs, being
championed by him.
Renewing his demand for reservations for OBCs, Bhujbal,
addressing a rally which was being described as a show of
strength of his following in Maharashtra, said "Pawar and I
share the same views on development of OBCs and today`s
meeting should not be seen as my show of strength as commented
upon by the media".
Seated on the dais on the occasion of the death
anniversary of Mahatma Phule, social reformer of Maharashtra,
were Governor K Sankarnarayanan and Ajit Pawar, nephew of the
NCP chief, who took over as deputy chief minister in the
Prithviraj Chavan ministry, sidelining Bhujbal in the
Congress-NCP coalition government.
Bhujbal, turning to Ajit Pawar who also holds the finance
portfolio requested him to hike the budgetary provision for
OBCs in the state which he said accounted for 54 per cent of
The rally was organised by Akhil Bharatiya Samata
Parishad, founded and headed by Bhujbal, the OBC leader, who
parted ways with Shiv Sena to join Congress and later sided
with Sharad Pawar after formation of NCP.