Sharad Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) leader, has stated that his nephew Ajit Pawar’s dream of becoming Maharashtra’s chief minister will remain just that. Jitendra Pawar rebelled and became deputy chief minister in the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition administration.
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The two factions are presently fighting over the party’s name and symbol in court.
Start of the NCP dispute
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), along with the Shiv Sena and the Indian National Congress, has a long history of political complexity in Maharashtra. The state’s political problems have frequently centred on themes such as coalition politics, leadership conflicts, and governance and development concerns.
Ajit Pawar, along with many of his supporters, quit the Sharad Pawar-led NCP in July 2023 to join the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP coalition as Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister. The NCP divided into two sections as a result, with Ajit Pawar asserting in a letter to the Election Commission that he was elected party president on June 30.
In his first meeting following the split, he expressed a wish to keep the party’s symbol and name, urged Sharad Pawar to retire and allow new people opportunity, and criticised many of Sharad’s actions, including the formation of a government with the Shiv Sena rather than the BJP in 2019.
On July 2, after months of speculation that he was cozying up to the BJP, Mr. Ajit Pawar orchestrated a vertical split within the NCP and joined the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government to secure the position of Deputy Chief Minister for an unprecedented fifth term. Mr. Sharad Pawar expressed optimism about Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi leader Prakash Ambedkar joining the Opposition’s INDIA alliance.
Furthermore, he stated that if BJP politician and former State Minister Pankaja Munde, who is alleged to have been marginalised within the saffron party, creates her own organisation, the action will be well received.
Sharad Pawar’s statement on Ajit Pawar
Sharad Pawar declared on Thursday that his nephew, renegade NCP group leader Ajit Pawar, will never become Maharashtra’s chief minister. Speaking to reporters in Akola, he also stated that the Bharatiya Janata Party does not control 70% of the country and that it will lose power in Maharashtra as well.
When asked about rumours that Ajit Pawar, who became deputy chief minister in July after disbanding the NCP and entering the Shiv Sena-BJP coalition, will soon become chief minister, Pawar senior responded, “Ajit Pawar becoming chief minister will remain only a dream.”
Pawar expressed optimism about Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi leader Prakash Ambedkar joining the Opposition’s INDIA grouping.
Former colleague Chhagan Bhujbal once proposed that Supriya Sule be appointed NCP president, but Bhujbal has since turned sides, he remarked. He also stated that if BJP politician Pankaja Munde, who is alleged to have been marginalised in the saffron party, creates her own party, the action will be well received.
Supriya Sule’s statement on the same
Meanwhile, Supriya Sule, Pawar’s daughter and NCP Working President, said that Ajit Pawar’s swearing-in ceremonies as Deputy Chief Minister on November 23, 2019, and July 2, 2023, took place without her father’s knowledge.
The 82-year-old Pawar’s comment comes just a few days after Ajit Pawar, in his capacity as NCP National President, penned an open letter to the people of the state justifying his choice to defect from the Maha Vikas Aghadi and join the BJP-led NDA camp. Ajit Pawar did not mention his uncle in the letter.
Ajit, on the other hand, said that he gets “inspiration” from the late Yashwantrao Chavan, the final Chief Minister of Bombay State, the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and afterwards the Deputy Prime Minister.
Ajit Pawar, 64, joined the Maha Yuti government led by Eknath Shinde and was appointed Deputy Chief Minister alongside BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis on July 2, 2023.
Since joining the Maha Yuti (NDA in Maharashtra), speculation has been rife that he came with a prearranged agreement under which he would eventually replace Shinde, the leader of the Shiv Sena, who is facing the proverbial sword of Damocles in the wake of disqualification proceedings against him.
However, Fadnavis, who forged the new alliance that has altered the state’s political trajectory, has ruled out any leadership change. So far, the Ajit Pawar-led NCP group has not responded to Sharad Pawar’s statement.