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Pawar Declines To Drive In Taxi Permit Row

PTI 22 Jan 2010, 21:04:07 IST

NCP President Sharad Pawar, whose party is member of the Congress-led ruling coalition in Maharashtra, on Friday  refrained from commenting on Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's U-turn on `Marathi-for taxi permit' issue. 

Talking to reporters here, Pawar said he was unaware what exactly Chavan had said on the permit issue and would not like to comment on media reports. 

Under attack for making knowledge of Marathi a must to get new taxi permits in Maharashtra, Chavan yesterday insisted that fluency in any local language like Hindi and Gujarati was also enough, a statement which invited criticism from the Shiv Sena and MNS chief Raj Thackeray. 

On the current agitation for a separate Vidarbha, the NCP leader, whose party has come out in support of the demand for statehood, said "people of that region should decide the issue." 

In reference to reported statement of former MP Jambuwantrao Dhote, who is heading the action committee for Vidarbha state - that he would even taken help from Naxalites for the cause - the Union Minister said "this has come out of frustration." PTI