Ajit Pawar stands apart as only NCP neta backing uncle’s quit plan | India News – Times of India

MUMBAI: For years now, former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, 63, has been at the centre of the succession battle within NCP, the party founded by his uncle Sharad Pawar. In recent months, there has been speculation about a renewed rebellion by him. On Tuesday, Ajit Pawar stood apart as the only senior leader in NCP who supported Sharad Pawar’s decision to quit as party chief.
Addressing partymen at the YB Chavan auditorium after the senior Pawar announced his retirement, he said, “You are under a misunderstanding that if Pawarsaheb is not the party president, he will not be in the party. That is incorrect. In Congress Mallikarjun Kharge is the party president but Sonia Gandhi runs the party,” he said.
He said considering Sharad Pawar’s age, it had been decided after discussions to provide a new leadership for the party which would work under his guidance. “No one can dispute that NCP is Sharad Pawar. The new president will work under his guidance. There is no need to become emotional. Just the other day,he had said that a new leadership has to be created and the bhakri has to be rotated. ”
He added that he had spoken to Pawar’s wife Pratibha Pawar and she had said that he would not revoke his decision. “There will be a new chief under Pawarsaheb’s guidance. We should back the person. We remain a family and he remains the head of the family. ”
He said elders in families do give opportunities to younger people. “This was going to happen at some point in keeping with the times. If a new president is appointed under his leadership, then what is the problem?” he asked. “A party or an organisation must take decision in accordance of the requirement of the situation, there is no point in taking emotional decisions,’’ he said.
“Pawarsaheb was going to announce this on May 1 but it was the date of the MVA rally and the media would focus on this instead. So, the date of May 2 was decided,” he said.
After the senior Pawar’s resignation speech, several NCP leaders tried to get him to reconsider his decision. When party workers urged his daughter Supriya Sule to add her bit, Ajit Pawar instructed her not to speak: “Supriya, don’t say anything. I am saying this in my capacity as her elder brother. ” His comments raised eyebrows as Ajit and Supriya are seen to be the key contenders for the post.
Later when party workersrefused to leave the auditorium until Pawar senior withdrew his resignation, Praful Patel said the committee set up to appoint a new president would take their views into consideration. When party workers refused to back down, Ajit Pawar brusquely said, “Do they think we are fools?”
However, a party worker hit back at Ajit Pawar. “You say even Congress has a party president working under Sonia Gandhi. But look where the party is now,” he said.
Later in the day, Ajit joined an NCP delegation to meet the senior Pawar. By end of day, they had secured an assurance from the senior Pawar that he would put the retirement decision on hold for 2-3 days.

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