Would never support Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Sharad Pawar also hit reports in the central and Maharashtra governments on agricultural issues.

New Delhi:

Days after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), head Sharad Pawar, created a fluttering movement by saying that the public does not doubt Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intentions to buy Rafale fighter jets from France, the veteran politician today tried to defuse the situation by claiming that he would "never" do such a thing.

"Some people have criticized me by saying that I have supported him (PM Modi), but I have not supported him and will never do so," said Mr Pawar during a party meeting in the Marathwada region.

To clarify its position on the Rafale deal, the leader of the NCP said: "They (the government) bought the aircraft, and I say with all clarity that the government must explain to parliament why the aircraft's costs have risen from Rs 650 crore (by plane)) to Rs 1600 crore. "

He then repeated his request for a probe by a mixed parliamentary committee at the Rafale deal and demanded that the Modi government announce the price of the 36 jet fighters.

The direct reason for the face of Mr Pawar seems to increase the rebellion in the party which led to founding member Tariq Anwar and Secretary-General Munaf Hakim who ceased. His statement also stood to jeopardize the potential alliance of the party with Congress in future elections at a time when its president, Rahul Gandhi, had launched a targeted attack on PM Modi.

The controversial statement of the former Minister of Defense was well received by those on the other side of the political spectrum. BJP president Amit Shah even thanked Mr. Pawar and tweeted that he had placed "national interests over party politics". "Dear @RahulGandhi, you would be wiser by believing your own ally and a leader of the status of Pawar Saheb," he added.

However, the NCP later issued a statement in which he claimed that the media had called Mr Pawar "out of context".

Mr. Pawar also joined hands with the central and Maharashtra governments on agricultural issues, and praised the decision of the former United Progressive Alliance to write down farm loans amounting to Rs 71,000 crore.

(With input from PTI)

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