Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar on Friday in a lighter vein said twice he became deputy chief minister of Maharashtra and on both occasions, wanted the home portfolio, but "seniors" in his party thought if he gets the key ministry, he would not listen to them.
The Leader of Opposition in the Assembly made the comments during a meeting of the NCP's Pune unit where a functionary remarked that when the party becomes part of a government in the future, he (Pawar) should become home minister.
"Last time, when I was made deputy chief minister, that time 'I told that make me home minister'. But seniors thought if the home minister's position was given to me, I would not listen to them," he said jokingly.
Pawar said after Anil Deshmukh resigned as home minister in April last year, he once again asked the party to give him the home ministry, but he did not get the portfolio. Speaking to reporters later, the senior NCP leader clarified he had made the remarks about eyeing home ministry in a lighter note while addressing party workers.
"To energise party workers in the hall, who were looking dull and tired, I made those remarks jokingly," Pawar said. Asked about the National Investigation Agency (NIA)'s raids on the Popular Front of India and arrest of more then 100 of its members nationwide, Pawar said arrests were made in 12 to 15 states and maximum were in Kerala and Maharashtra.
"It seems that after noticing some serious things, a decision was taken (to conduct raids at PFI offices) at the higher level (at the Centre)," he said.
(With PTI Inputs)