Sharad Pawar Resigns as NCP chief; emotional party workers protest against decision: Key points | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: National Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that he is stepping down as the party president in a surprise announcement that is likely to have far-reaching political implications ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Pawar made the announcement at the launch of the revised version of his autobiography, leaving NCP workers stunned. The octogenarian leader’s decision also triggered protests by hundreds of NCP workers and leaders.
Here’s a roundup of the fallout and reactions after Pawar’s surprise announcement …
‘Not retiring from public life’
In his address to the party workers, Pawar said that even though he is quitting as the NCP chief, it does not mean that he is retiring from public life.
Sharad Pawar told the emotional workers opposing his resignation, “I am with you, but not as NCP chief.”.
The NCP chief said he intends to do more in the fields of education, agriculture, cooperation, sports and culture, amongst others and also pay attention to issues related to the youth, students, workers, Dalits, tribals and other weaker sections of the society.
“I have three years left of Rajya Sabha membership in Parliament, during which I will focus on issues related to Maharashtra and India, with a caveat of not taking any responsibility. After a long period of public life from May 1, 1960, to May 1, 2023, it is necessary to take a step back. Hence, I have decided to step down as the president of the Nationalist Congress Party,” he said.
He assured NCP workers that he will be available to all of them and will continue to work round the clock to solve people’s problems.
“The love and trust of the people is my breath. There will be no separation from me or public retirement. I was with you; I am and will always be there till my last breath! So we’ll keep meeting,” he said.
Emotional scenes
The unexpected announcement was greeted with shock and disbelief, with some NCP workers breaking down.
Several party workers and leaders also staged protests and urged Pawar to rescind the decision.


Teary-eyed supporters urge Sharad Pawar to reconsider decision to step down as NCP Chief

Senior leaders like Ajit Pawar, Maharashtra party chief Jayant Patil and others attempted to pacify the party workers urging them to remain calm.
Senior leaders break down
Earlier, during the announcement, senior party leaders Jayant Patil and Jitendra Awhad could be seen breaking down in front of Sharad Pawar.
Meanwhile, NCP MP Praful Patel beseeched Pawar to withdraw his decision.

Patel said Pawar did not take anyone into confidence before announcing his resignation.
“We have requested Sharad Pawar ji with folded hand to withdraw the decision. I request him to withdraw the decision on behalf of all. The state and the country need his leadership,” Patel said.

Ajit Pawar supports decision
Ajit Pawar, the nephew of Sharad Pawar, supported the latter’s decision to step down from the post.
“Pawar sahab himself had said about the necessity of change in the guard a few days ago. we should see his decision in the light of his age and health also. Everyone has to take a decision according to time, Pawar saheb has taken a decision and he won’t take it back,” Ajit Pawar said.
Earlier too, Ajit had endorsed Sharad Pawar’s view that it was the right time to promote new leadership in the party.
He had said that some people make way for the younger lot when they get older.
Ajit Pawar told party workers that the new NCP president will work under the guidance of Sharad Pawar.
What next?
Pawar has recommended that a committee of NCP members be formed to decide on the election of the vacancy in the president’s post.
He said the committee should have top party leaders – Praful Patel, Sunil Tatkare, K K Sharma, P C Chacko, Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil, Supriya Sule, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Walse Patil, Anil Deshmukh, Rajesh Tope, Jitendra Awhad, Hasan Mushrif, Dhananjay Munde, Jaydev Gaikwad.
It will also have ex-officio members Fauzia Khan, president, Nationalist Mahila Congress; Dheeraj Sharma, president, Nationalist Youth Congress; and Sonia Duhan, president, Nationalist Youth Congress and Nationalist Students’ Congress, he added.
New generation to guide the party?
With Pawar resigning from the post after being at the helm for 24 years, the focus will now shift to the new generation leaders in the party.
While Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule is considered as his successor for this post, nephew Ajit Pawar is also seen as a frontrunner.
However, recent reports that Ajit Pawar intends to join hands with BJP have added to the uncertainty about the leadership of the party.
A consensus opposition candidate?
With Sharad Pawar giving up charge of NCP, there is speculation that he could emerge as the joint opposition candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The move comes at a time when Pawar is seen as a pole to tie opposition parties of different hues, interests and ideologies, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Several opposition parties have been holding talks to stitch together a united front to take on the BJP in 2024.
Bihar chief minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar is leading these talks. He recently met Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav and several Left leaders.
Nitish is also seen as a joint opposition face.
Hinting that Sharad Pawar might have his eyes set on something, senior Congress leader Tariq Anwar said the Maratha strongman must have a plan for the future.
Anwar, who was a co-founder of the Nationalist Congress Party along with Pawar, said the veteran leader does not take any decision without thinking it through.
Watch Sharad Pawar quits as NCP chief

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