No info on ‘RSS, BJP terror camps’: Pawar

On a visit to Agrovision Expo, promoted by former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Sunday skirted queries on Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's claim that BJP and RSS were conducting "terror camps".

"I don't have authentic information about the issue. Maybe Shinde has it," Pawar said. He, however, added, "When I was home minister, there were some inputs about involvement of communal parities in riots."

Asked if he was open to joining the NDA in view of surveys indicating gains for the alliance in the next Lok Sabha election, Pawar said, "It's just a survey. We have worked with Congress for fifteen years and are still working. I think UPA will remain intact."

On Rahul Gandhi, the Congress' likely candidate for prime minister, Pawar said, "I haven't had much opportunity to interact with him. I have been reading about him only in newspapers."

Earlier, at the expo, Gadkari, whose admiration for Pawar and his style of politics is well known, showed the minister around.

Praising the fair, Pawar said, "Farmers were seen attending workshops with a pen and paper in hand and taking notes. That's a very good sign."

Asked why he accepted an invite to the expo from the former BJP chief, Pawar shot back, "Was it BJP's expo? As agriculture minister, I have to be receptive to all. We honoured Madhya Pradesh for its best showing in agriculture this year. It's a BJP-ruled state. Can I ignore them?"

Pawar said the Centre was mulling a national agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries expo in Nagpur to help boost milk and fish production.

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