I am with NCP, says Vijaysinh Mohite Patil

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar addresses a press conference, in Mumbai. (PTI Photo)

Former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Vijaysinh Mohite Patil, whose son has joined the BJP, shared a dais with Sharad Pawar at a function here on Wednesday and said later that he was still with the Nationalist Congress Party.

Former Congress leader Harshvardhan Patil, who switched loyalty to the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections in October, also shared a dais with Pawar.

The occasion -- an annual general meeting of the Vasantdada Sugar Institute -- also saw Patil sitting next to his arch-rival and NCP leader Ajit Pawar and chatting with him.

Mohite Patil, Harshvardhan Patil and Sharad Pawar, who is the chairman of the research institute, were also seen engaged in an animated chat.

Asked by reporters later about his discussion with Sharad Pawar, Mohite Patil said he had met the NCP chief two or three times after the Lok Sabha elections in April.

"I have not gone anywhere else...my son has gone there (to the BJP)," Mohite Patil told reporters when asked if he himself was still with the NCP.

On his chat with Ajit Pawar, Harshvardhan Patil said they did not discuss politics.

"We had a discussion on agriculture-related issues," he said.

Mohite Patil's son Ranjitsinh joined the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls this year. It is said to have soured the senior leader's ties with Pawar.

Harshvardhan Patil joined the BJP just ahead of the October 21 Assembly polls. He lost to NCP's Dattatray Bharne from Indapur in Pune district.

Patil and the Pawars, whose bastion Baramati is next to Indapur, have always been bitter rivals.

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